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Honour killings: Govt. defers decision on Khap Bill, sets up GoM to deal with issue

Thursday, July 08, 2010 05:36:04 PM, Agencies

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New Delhi: With a spurt in incidents of honour killings across the country, the Government today decided to set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to consider amendments to the law to deal with the issue and said the bill for that will be brought in the monsoon session of Parliament.

"Government wants amendments to be brought to Parliament in the monsoon session," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters after the meeting of the Union Cabinet here.

Apart from a Group of Ministers (GoM) which would be set up to consider amendments to the law to deal with honour killings, views will also be sought from states to the proposed amendments to IPC and CrPC to deal with the killings, Soni said.

"The so-called honour killings have to be brought under the ambit of law of land," she said.


The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also decided to seek views of states on the "sensitive" issue after it discussed the matter to some length.

Most of the ministers observed that the present laws were not adequate to deal with such killings but there was no unanimity on how to go about it, sources said.

Kapil Sibal, M S Gill and Kamal Nath were among those who expressed their opinions on dealing with the menace effectively, they said.


Later, Home Minister P Chidambaram said the government's intention is to introduce the amendment bill in the monsoon session.

"Consultations will be completed well before the (month-long) Monsoon session is over and views of the state government (will be) placed before the Cabinet," he said.

The amendments that have been proposed aim at bringing honour killings under the definition of murder by amending the Indian Penal Code.

It would also seek to amend the Indian Evidence Act which would bring the onus on Khap Panchayats to prove their innocence in any such case.

The khap panchayat (caste council) or any group ordering honour killings and any person who carries out the diktat will be jointly liable for punishment under the proposed legislation.

The Government also plans to do away with the 30-day notice period under the Special Marriage Act for inter-caste and inter-religion marriages.

Taking note of the recent spurt in 'honour' killings, the Supreme Court had last month sought response from the Union Government and eight states on steps taken to prevent such incidents.






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