Supreme Court declares it illegal for khap panchayats to stall marriage between consenting adults

Pic Courtesy: samarsaleel.com

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The SC said that any assembly which is intended to scuttle a marriage of two consenting adults is also illegal
  • An NGO Shakti Vahini had in 2010 moved the top court seeking directions from the central and state governments to prevent and control so-called honour crimes

The Supreme Court (SC) today declared illegal any attempt by khap panchayats to end a marriage between consenting adults.
The SC said that any assembly which is intended to scuttle a marriage of two consenting adults is also illegal. The orders were passed by a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.

An NGO Shakti Vahini had in 2010 moved the top court seeking directions from the central and state governments to prevent and control so-called honour crimes.

Last month, the SC had harsh words for khap panchayats taking the law into their own hands with so-called honour killings, and strongly urged the Centre to protect couples from such actions. At the time, the apex court also told the ‘khaps’ they cannot become “self-appointed conscience keepers” when there is a law and there are courts to deal with marriages that may be prohibited by law.

 The SC further said when two adults get married, it was for the law to declare the marriage null and void and khaps cannot resort to violence against the couple.
Courtesy: TOI