The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi has welcomed the recommendations of the Justice Verma Commission on the khap panchayas and honour killings.

The Commission went into the issue of punishment for sexual assault cases following the recent gang rape of a girl in Delhi,

In a statement issued here, party leader Thol. Thirumavalavan said that the Commission had slammed khap panchayats and the prevalence of social malaise such as honour killings.

He applauded the Commission for having come out with a detailed report within a month of its formation.

Mr. Thirumavalavan pointed out that the panel had devoted a full chapter to activities of khap panchayats and how these instigated and induced honour killings.

The Commission stated that khap panchayats were extra constitutional authorities not sanctioned by the law.

As such, these self-styled bodies could not impose their diktats on the choice of partners for marriage, and their notion of moral and right conduct on others. Such acts of khap panchayats were highly restricting the freedom of women to choose their life partner and also impinged on their educational, employment and fundamental rights.

Mr. Thirumavalavan further said the Commission had taken the view that district authorities should be held responsible for incidents of honour killings. It concurred with the observation of the Supreme Court that honour killings should be viewed much more seriously.

Drawing a parallel in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Thirumavalan said though no khap panchayats existed in the State, of late certain caste-based organisations were clamouring for a halt on inter-caste marriages.

The action of such organisations was akin to those of khap panchayats and, therefore, as suggested by the Commission, legal action should be taken against those caste-based organisations too, Mr. Thirumavalavan said.