NHRC slams Khap Panchayats

The National Human Rights Commission said that it has taken note of media reports alleging that Khap panchayats in Haryana are indulging in acts of violence against Hindu couples marrying in the same subcaste or 'gotra'.

"The Commission is of the view that no one has the right to take the law in his hand by violating an individual's right to life in the name of tradition," NHRC said in a statement.
NHRC has received as many as eight complaints regarding alleged interference of these councils in criminal justice system from different villages of Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.

Notices have been issued to public authorities wherein complaints or media reports have alleged violence against the couples married in the same gotra or inter-caste in parts of Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, Commission said.

In such cases, concerned authorities have been asked to take action against those responsible for such acts violating the human rights of the people, it said.
It has also taken note of these councils' demand of an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act to ban marriages in the same gotra.

"The issue of amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act, banning same gotra marriages is a subject matter of wider debate keeping in view the national perspective on the social, cultural and traditional aspects, as well as an individual's right to liberty as enshrined in the Constitution," the Commission noted.

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