Proposal mooted to amend IPC to deal with honour killings

Proposal mooted to amend IPC to deal with honour killings

As per the amendment, bodies like caste panchayats can be brought under the ambit of the crime as they are accused in many instances of ordering killings in the name of protecting honour of a community.

The Law Ministry has given a go-ahead to a proposal of the Home Ministry to insert a separate section in the IPC to define the crime, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told PTI here on Monday.

The Law Ministry had asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati to give his opinion on whether honour killing could be brought within the purview of the term murder.
Vahanvati, in his opinion, said that IPC could be amended to insert a separate section on honour or customary killings.

He also said the Evidence Act could be amended to put the onus of proof on the accused.Moily said the AG's opinion has already been sent to the MHA. "According to the Attorney General, the amendments in the IPC and the Evidence Act are capable of being implemented. We also have the backing of a Supreme Court judgement to amend the Evidence Act," he said.

According to the AG, caste panchayats ordering the killings can also be accused of the crime and all members of such bodies can be deemed guilty, whether or not they have favoured the killing.

If honour killings are defined as a separate crime under the IPC, those found guilty can punished with death or life imprisonment.

Honour killings -- where men and women are killed by their kin or members of their caste for defying traditions -- are rampant in western parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

The violence is committed in the name of saving the honour of the community, caste or family. However, there is no data of such killings as their track is not kept separately

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