Supreme Court has constantly been issuing warning against groups and individuals who clog inter faith or inter caste relationships asserts that social backdrop has still captured the minds of the elderly. The complete interest of politicians & vote-bank politics allow such group to work freely. Social Structure dating back to 600 AD the group has still not lost its roots and because they comprise more than 25% in Haryana they are also assisted by the fellow politicians.
Khap Panchahyat represents the community elders or clan which comprises of khap elders who have recently been emerging as a quasi- judicial body which lays down certain rules to regulate the group of villages that pronounces harsh punishments based on their taboo or petty fisticuffs or customs. The body neither has any legal representation nor is affiliated to any of the elected bodies still it has great social influence mainly in norther India.
Supreme Court stands robust on Tuesday against the obstinate Khap Panchayat. While the latter local customs dictate that marriage within the same gotra is invalid the former affirmed that no one has the right to interfere in the relationship between adults and said that such groups will be illegal assemblies under sec 141 of the Indian Penal Code and and interference with the marriages would be “absolutely illegal”. The learned bench of Chief Justice Dipak Sharma & justices AM Khanwilker & DY Chandrachud gave certain guidelines that would remain in force till any suitable law comes into force. Cautious Approach through Directives & Information, has to be provided by the home department of all states to police superintendents regarding inter-caste marriage within their jurisdiction. Police has been given power to invoke prohibitory orders under sec 144 of CrPC and arrest of participants under sec 151 of CrPC. Remedial measures are to be provided through immediate registration of FIR’s and by providing security to the couple or family in case of threat perception to safe houses which the state government may think fit to establish at every district headquarters. Supreme Courts said that disciplinary action will be taken against police if they fail to perform their duty and will be liable for negligence and misconduct. Special cells have also been introduced which would create a 24-hour helpline to register complaints.
In tandem, I correspond to the wise decision of the court since in the last decade, the Khap Panchayat have regained some sort of legitimacy through issues such as a ban on same-gotra marriages. They have become less transparent in functioning, oppressive and in conflict with the law of the land.
Report By: Vedant Agrawal, Student Reporter, INBA