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In our day to day life, as human evolving crimes is also evolving beside that our legal system getting stronger. But any women or individual or couple who choose their life partner by their wish are murder by the male member of the family or by the group of people who are following their caste or customs, tradition is “HONOUR KILLING”, even in modern civilization it still exists. We didn’t consist any provision or punishment for honour killing as it is violating Article 21 Right to life under the Indian Constitution.

Citation(2018) 7 SCC 192
Date of Judgement27-03-2018
Case NoCIVIL WRIT PETITION 231 of 2010
Acts and section involved  THE INDIAN CONSTITION, 1949
Article 19
Article 21
Article 32              
INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860 Section 300 Section 302


Petitioner Shakti Vahini Organization files writ petition under article 32 of Indian constitution in Supreme Court. The organization authorised by National commission for women to do research on “HONOUR KILLING” in Haryana; western Uttar Pradesh, order passed on 22.12.2008. by the research Haryana; western Uttar Pradesh; Punjab trend on increase on honour killing, which makes fear amongst people who intend to get marry but don’t out of fear. The violation of Human rights and destruction of Fundamental right take place in tha name of class honour, group right or by caste system. The action of woman or man in choosing life partner according to her/his own choice beyond community norm consider as dishonour.

Petitioned that action found LinkedIn with honour based crimes,

(i) Loss of virginity outside marriage

(ii) Pre-marital pregnancy

(iii) Infidelity

 (iv) having unapproved relationships;

(v) Refusing an arranged marriage;

(vi) Asking for divorce;

(vii) Demanding custody of children after divorce;

 (viii) Leaving the family or marital home without permission;

 (ix) Causing scandal or gossip in the community, and

 (x) Falling victim to rape

ISSUES OF THE CASE:                                                            

  1. To seek direction to respondents; state government, central government to take prevention steps to curb honour crimes and to submit national plan of action and State plan of action for honour killing
  2. To seeks and direct state government to constitute special cells in each district seperately for the safety and welfare of couples.
  3. Seeking to issue, a writ of mandamus to State government for launching prosecutions in honour killing and appropriate measures for such crimes.
  4. Whether the activities of khap panchayats are legal? Does panchayats have right to punish people?


The appellant Shakti Vahini Organization contented that the parallel enforcement agency, where leading member of group have same caste or Lineage have power to punish for crimes and their direct social boycott or killing by mob where called panchayat, nomenclature of khap panchayats.

Panchayat acts are not taken cognizable by police and their functions not questioned by any authority administration in our country. In Indian constitution article 21 provides protection of life and liberty and guards basic Human rights and equality of status, which violated by action of panchayat who subscribe Honour Killing.


  • The Union of India, Ministry of Home affairs and Ministry of Women and child development filed counter affidavit and contended Honour Killing treated as murder under 300 of Indian Penal code and punishable under 302 of Indian penal code.
  • On 9th September 2013, Union of India States interalia, to tackle tha issues of Honour Killing, The bill titled “The Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliance bill” has recommended by law commission of India on 242nd Law commission report.
  • On 16 January 2014; 15 states/ Union territory gave responses and waited for remaining states response. Accordingly all other states gave their responses and consult all stake holders regarding bill in discussion
  • The state of Punjab stating inter alia, department of Human affairs and justice lay down and bringing revised guidelines and policy into force to protect newly married couples for atleast 6 weeks after marriage.
  • The state of Haryana filed action plan prepared and crime against women cells are functioning at every district headquarters in the state and make publicity to the citizens to aware of the cells.
  • The state of Jharkhand filed stating measures taken against person in such crime even though Honour Killing not common in their state
  • The NCT of Delhi states Delhi police doesn’t maintain seperate records under honour killing. The department of women and child development made arrangements fro rehabilitation of female victims facing threats due to honour killings.
  • The state of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal pradesh has issued circulars to the police to keep check on the activities of the panchayats and abide to any guidelines issued by courts to curb the evil of Honour Killing.

ORDER OF THE COURT:                                                                       

The Supreme Court passed verdict by examining cases,

  • In Lata Singh vs State of Uttar Pradesh (2006) 5 SCC 477, The court held there is no bar for Intercaste marriage under Hindu marriage act or any other law, no one can abide any person from marrying on their own choices.
  • In Bhagwan Dass vs. State (NCT of Delhi), the court held that any person can’t take laws into his own hands by committing violence or giving threat of violence.
  • In vikas yadav vs State of Uttar Pradesh (2016) 9 SCC, the court held women and her individual choice is her self respect, to impose brotherly or fatherly or class honours by eliminating her choice is crime of extreme.
  • In Asha Ranja vs. State of Bihar (2017) 4 SCC 397, the court held that the choice of women in choosing her partner in life is a legitimate constitution rights under Article 19 of Indian Constitution.
  • The union of India imposed and given certain suggestions and guidelines to be taken until legislation made, to meet the challenge of effect of crime.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:                                                       

  • State government identify district subdistrict or village’s where honour killing takes place in recent past 5 years
  • The secretary, Home Department of states issued directives to Superintendent of police for being extra cautious if intercaste marriage comes in their jurisdiction
  • If any khap panchayats gathering happened in knowledge of police officer, or district administration, he must inform Deputy Superintendent of police and superintendent of police.
  • The Deputy Superintendent of police and Superintendent of police interact with people of khap panchayat and impress upon them that it is not permissible under law.
  • Despite, meeting conducted the deputy superintendent of police and superintendent of police must protect the couple and family members of the couple.
  • After interaction with deputy superintendent of police and superintendent of police, khap panchayats didn’t obey them cause harm to couples, he submits the proposal to district magistrate/ sub divisional magistrate of competent authority to take measures under  section 144 and 151 Cr.P.C


  • The Superintendent of police and district magistrate ensure safety of couples of such marriage by taking steps include providing safe house, police protection.
  • If any dictates passed against the couple or family members of the couple, the Superintendent of police duty to bound to file FIR under section 141 and 143 of Indian penal code.


  • The Superintendent of police bounded by duty, if any substantive offence committed against couple, to conduct an investigation not only couples also to investigate the role of khap panchayats, if any
  • The final report of police must submit to the magistrate under section 173 of Cr.P.C.


The Honourable court taken steps and given suggestions and enact laws to curb the honour killing. This case being important has it is created impact among people in the society and made government to take steps regarding honour killing which is not known by others and practiced silently. As it is concluded honour killing is a crime, making a person to marry other than his own choice is violation of Article 21. Every person have right to make decision on his/her own in their life, no one can impose their right on them.


  1. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/92846055/

By Author- Rubini B, 3rd year B.A.LL.B (HONS), Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology


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