Nothing honourable in honour killings, says Indian court

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

India's Supreme Court has labelled honour killings a "slur on the nation," and warned the death penalty will await those found guilty of the crime. The court finds "nothing honourable about honour killings."

Cquote1.svg It is time to stamp out these barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on the nation. This is necessary as a deterrent for such outrageous, uncivilised behaviour. All persons who are planning to perpetrate honour killings should know that gallows await them. Cquote2.svg

—Justice Markandey Katju

An independent study says each year an estimated 900 people are murdered in India for bringing dishonour to their families, usually by falling in love and marrying outside their caste or within their sub-caste. Honour killings, accepted as a cultural tradition in some parts of India, are normally punished with life imprisonment. But Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra have now called for a tougher stance, directing courts throughout India to use capital punishment in their sentencing.

"It is time to stamp out these barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on the nation. This is necessary as a deterrent for such outrageous, uncivilised behaviour. All persons who are planning to perpetrate honour killings should know that gallows await them," Justice Katju said.

The crack-down came yesterday, as the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal to lessen the life imprisonment of Bhagwan Dass. The man strangled his married daughter to death with wire after discovering she was in an incestuous affair.

The Supreme Court also condemned the traditional village councils who endorse these honour killings and order them to be carried out.



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