Honour Killing is nothing; however, the assassination of a member of a loved one because of the crime or associate act committed by the member that desecrated the principles or the community's beliefs, and therefore the victim has brought humiliation and disgrace to the family.
According to Bedfordshine, "Honour based abuse is a collection of practices used to control behavior within families to protect the perceived culture and religious beliefs and honour." Honour killing is performed throughout the middle-east and South Asia.
REASON BEHIND THE KILLING
The basic reason behind honour killing is that the concept of a family's honour is tied to a women's celibacy. Women are treated as a tangible quality once it involves honour killing. In keeping with the United Nations, approximately 5000 women are facing the horror of honour killing each year in India and worldwide 20,000 women. Society is cruel and pitiless once it’s a lady who gets disgrace to the family. Because the family isn't accepted socially, the various possibility is to eliminate the cause that got disgrace and blacken the family's honour.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE PRACTICING IT?
The people practicing it are not some backward or conservative kind people. As per a study by DIcle university (Gazor 2001), there are also well-educated perpetrators are either high school or university graduates, or at very least literate. So, the people practicing it are well educated and belong to the modern world. People talking about modernization and change are the ones practicing it.
CAUSES THAT TRIGGER HONOUR-BASED KILLING
· Pre-marital sex
· Unapproved relationship
· Refusal of an arranged marriage and in the worst case at times even rape victims
· Having an affair outside the caste or religion
· Seeking divorce
· Engaging in homosexual acts or relations in which the women and girls are killed is much higher.
In India, honour killings take place if a couple marries outside their caste or against their will.
HONOUR-BASED VIOLENCE INCLUDES:
Physical abuse ( kicking, beating, stabbing, burning, beheading, hanging, throat slashing, lethal acid attacks).
Psychological ( pressure, humiliation, threats)
HOW ARE THE HONOUR-BASED KILLING DEALT WITH BY THE LAW AND COURTS?
Under section 299 -304, the assassin punished are person guilty of murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The punishment for murder is life sentence or death and fine. The punishment for culpable homicide, not amounting to murder is life imprisonment or imprisonment for up to 10 years and fine. The khap panchayats and family is booked under the sections above.
In the year 2010 case of Nirupama Pathak case, a 22-year-old woman who was found dead alleged to have been killed by her family because she got pregnant and was planning to get married to a guy outside her caste. Court declared it as a murder. These are basic sections of IPC. There are some acts, amendments passed by the government to protect the victims and reduce the number of crimes taking place due to honour-based killing.
PROTECTION OF THE VICTIMS FACING HONOUR-BASED KILLING BY THE GOVERNMENT.
The Indian Majority Act,1857
Section-3 of the act states that the age of the majority of persons domiciled in India.-
1. Every person domiciled in India shall attain the majority's age on his completing the age of eighteen years and not before.
2. In computing the age of any person, the day on which he was born is to be included as a whole day, and he shall be deemed to have attained majority at the beginning of the eighteenth anniversary of that day.
The court of ward stated it 21 years and not 18 years in a minor for who’s a person or a property or both a guardian has been appointed or declared by the court of justice.
The Special Marriage Act,1954
The Parliament of India enacted to provide a special form of marriage for the people of India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries, irrespective of the religion or faith followed by either party.
The Protection of Women from the domestic violence Act, 2005
This act protects women's rights by the constitution, who are facing violence of any kind due to any family matter. Any act or conduct where the respondent will account to domestic violence are harms or injuries, health, safety, or wellbeing, i.e., mental and physical, physical abuse, sexual abuse or emotional abuse, harassment, making unlawful demands like dowry.
Tribes ( prevention of atrocities) Act,1989.
The implementation of this act was to help in uplifting Dalits in Indian society and acceptance socially. The act which takes place is: dishonouring and outraging the dignity of an ST/SC Women, sexual exploitation the women belonging to ST/SC, removing of clothes, forcing to eat/ drink which is harmful or poisonous. The act is applicable in Honour-based killing because the major reason for the killing is inter-caste or inter-religion Affairs or marriage.
THE RISE IN HONOUR-BASED KILLING
In the year 2014, there were 251 honour killings against 28. In the year 2015, there were five honour killings in 4 months (February-June). And more than 300 cases registered in the last three years.
DOES ANY OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS GET VIOLATED?
Honour-based killing also violates the articles of the constitution, which are as follows:
· Article 14- equality before the law
· Article 15(1)and (2) - proscribe the nation from discriminating any citizen based on any one or many aspects such as religion, caste, race, place of birth.
· Article 17- abolition of untouchability
· Article 19- the right to freedom
· Article 21- the right to life and personal liberty.
The khap panchayats violate a person's fundamental right to life, as they indicate murder, in the name community, beliefs, and honour. When capital punishment is only granted by the court or the law. So, in that case, if the family members of the society are instigating a person is a clear violation of the right to life. The khap panchayats also forcibly separate married couples who have attained the age of majority to get married as the violation of The Indian Majority Act. This viciousness against our very constitution, which provided rights and protection to the Indian citizens.
More than the law, it's the society that needs to protect and take responsibility for the human rights and steer clear of honour killing. Please respect each other's rights, choices, and preferences because it's not only the law that can remove honour killing. Since it is a social issue alone cannot change people's mindset when it is deeply seated in the minds of people as well as the customs and traditions. This kind of violence will only reduce if we challenge the mindset of overbearing persons. We need to stand together, help the victims to understand their rights, counsel them. Society needs to act very sensitively. The change is required in both the internal and external control methods.
Honour killing takes place in public, which is murder in public, given as a warning to the women. Unite together and stand against it. Call for help instead of just watching the murder and being a part of it.
Ramaiah College of law