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Why isn’t Centre acting against ‘illegal’ diktats of Khap Panchayats : SC

January 17, 2018

NEW DELHI: An angry Supreme Court on Tuesday rapped the Central government for failing to control diktats issued by khap panchayats against couples.

“What we are concerned is that if an adult girl or boy gets into marriage, no khap, no individual or no society can question them,” said the top court.

Terming the attacks by khaps and other outfits as “illegal”, the top court questioned why should anyone have a problem with two consenting adults marrying each other.

“Whenever there is any kind of collective attack on a boy or girl who are adult, it is absolutely illegal,” the bench said.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and consisting of Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked the Centre to give its response on suggestions earlier given by amicus curiae (friend of the court) Raju Ramachandran on ways to prevent harassment and killing of young couples in the name of family honour for marrying inter-caste or intra-clan (gotra).

If the Centre does not act towards banning Khap Panchayats, then the court will step in,” threated the top court.
The next hearing on the matter is on February 5.

Khaps are caste or community organisations in villages which at times act as quasi-judicial bodies.

The SC had earlier sought suggestions from an NGO ‘Shakti Vahini’, amicus curiae and ‘Khap Panchayats’ on the issue.

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