Observing that society needs to change its mindset and stop “honour killing”, a Delhi court has sentenced a man to life term for smothering to death his daughter who had eloped with a boy of her own village.
“Whether there is any honour in killing a person or whether honour is saved by killing a person is a question to be probed by the society. The incidents like one in hand would continue unless the mindset of the society is changed,” Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Sanjay Sharma said, while sentencing Karkardooma village resident Omkar of East Delhi.
“The time has come that we should respect the sentiments of our younger generation rather than impose our will upon them. A forced marriage is bound to destruct the families and can never succeed,” the court said.
Lamenting that the malady of casteism continues to plague the society and its mindset, the court said, “It is a well known phenomenon that even now, after so much of modernisation and achievements in academic fields, the votes in elections are sought on the basis of religion and castes.”
The court ruling came on a case dating back to March 3, 2009, when Omkar had murdered his daughter, who was in love with Sandeep of her village, belonging to same community and sub-caste (gotra).
The girl had eloped with Mr. Sandeep on March 2, 2009 to get married and stayed at his sister’s place for a night. An infuriated Omkar, however, managed to get his daughter back home from Mr. Sandeep, falsely promising him and his sister’s family members that he had given consent to the marriage, but needed to speak to her for 30 minutes before deciding upon it.
Omkar took her daughter away even as she pleaded that her family members would kill her.
According to the prosecution, Omkar and other family members, after getting the girl back home began beating her, drugged her and eventually smothered her to death.
In his deposition to the court, Mr. Sandeep detailed the whole incident, adding, the girl was reluctant to return home as she feared she would be killed.
As per the prosecution, the girl was taken to hospital by her family members, but was declared brought dead there.
This led to registration of a First Information Report at Anand Vihar police station in East Delhi. The subsequent autopsy of the girl and probe into the case revealed what the court described as a case of honour killing.
While convicting Omkar, the court dismissed defence counsel’s contention that the girl had committed suicide by consuming drug.
The court, however, did not impose death penalty upon Omkar saying it was not a rarest of rare crime and also taking into account the defence pleas for leniency.
“Omkar could not overcome his emotions and feeling of social unrest because of the fact that his own daughter spent a night with a boy of his own community and belonging to his own village and thus, the act, though done with intention and knowledge, was done more in a rage than in a planned manner,” the court said.