A body representing caste councils of western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi, has said they will oppose proposed amendments of law to deal with honour killings and will submit a memorandum to the President on the issue.
The All Khap Panchayat held at Shamli town in the district on Sunday evening, and attended by heads of different caste councils from western Utter Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi, decided to oppose the proposed amendments on honour killings.
“We will also submit a memorandum to the President on July 21. The future course of action will be decided in the next meeting to be held on July 26,” Secretary of the All Khap Panchayat Subhash Balian said.
The khap councils has also demanded amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, disallowing marriages amongst the same gotra.
The government on July 8 had decided to set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to suggest changes in the present law and said it felt “pressured” to move these amendments in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament beginning on July 26.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after it discussed the matter at length, also decided to seek the opinion of States.
The amendments that have been proposed aim at bringing honour killings under the definition of murder by amending the Indian Penal Code. It would also seek to amend the Indian Evidence Act which would bring the onus on khap panchayats to prove their innocence in any such case.
The khap panchayat (caste council) or any group ordering honour killings and any person who carries out the order will be jointly liable for punishment under the proposed legislation.
The government also plans to do away with the 30 day notice period under the Special Marriage Act for inter-caste and inter-religion marriages.