Honor killing and related laws in India

  • Offenses

Honour killing is a type of murder committed by family members. This would be the immoral behaviour of family members who place caste and gotras over one’s life. It is carried out in order to clear a family member’s name of dishonour and humiliation. The guy or any family member murders the person who does not fit their social status. The main reasons are caste and religion, and it could even be a pre-planned murder. People still believe in the superiority of caste above life, even after 70 years of independence. India is a democratic country in which everyone has the right to life and equal treatment.

  • Definition and section

The honour killing violates Article 14 (Equality before law), Article15(1) (Restriction of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth) & Article 15(3) (creating special provision for children and women), Article 19 (Protection of freedom of Speech), Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) and Article 39(f) of the Indian Constitution states that giving children opportunities and facilities to grow in a safe manner and conditions of equality and dignity, and protecting children and young people from abuse and moral and material abandonment.

  • Punishment with sections

• Sections 299–304: Penalizes anyone who commits murder or culpable homicide that does not amount to murder. Murder is punishable by life in jail or death, as well as a monetary fine. The penalty for non-murder culpable homicide is life in prison or up to ten years in jail, plus a fine.

• Section 307: Penalties include up to ten years in prison as well as a fine. If a person is hurt, the penalty can be as severe as life in jail.

• Section 308: Attempting to commit culpable homicide is punishable by up to three years in jail, a fine, or both. If it causes injury, the person may be sentenced to up to 7 years in prison or fined, or both.

• Sections 120A and 120B: Anyone who participates in a criminal conspiracy is subject to penalties.

• Sections 107–116: People who aid and abet homicides, including murder and culpable homicide, are punished.

• Sections 34 and 35: Penalizes criminal activities committed by multiple people in furtherance of a common goal.

  • Case briefs
  • Smt. Chandrapati vs State of Haryana[1]

The honour killing of Indian newlyweds Manoj Banwala and Babli in June 2007 and the accompanying court case that convicted defendants for an honour killing were known as the Manoj–Babli honour killing case. Babli’s relatives were among those accused of murder (grandfather Gangaraj, who is said to have been a Khap leader, brother, maternal and paternal uncles and two cousins). Manoj’s relatives, particularly his mother, defended the relationship.

In their Karora village in Kaithal district, Haryana, a khap panchayat (khap), a religious caste-based council among Jats, ordered the killing. The khap issued a ruling forbidding marriage that are not in accordance with community norms. Several Indian states, including Haryana, Punjab, western Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Rajasthan, have caste-based councils that have been in operation with government support for years. In any case, the state government voiced no concern about the khap panchayat’s decision.

Six police officers were also charged with dereliction of duty by the court, and the SSP of Kaithal was ordered to take action against them. Head constable Jayender Singh, sub-inspector Jagbir Singh, and members of the escort party supplied to the newlyweds were among those present.

Ganga Raj, the khap panchayat’s head, was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy, while Mandeep Singh, the driver, was sentenced to seven years in prison for kidnapping.

  • Ashok Kumar Todi vs Kishwar Jahan & Ors[2]

At the graphics training school where he taught, Rizwanur Rahman, a middle-class guy, met Priyanka Todi, the 23-year-old daughter of Ashok Todi, the owner of Lux Cozi. They started an affair that they kept hidden from their families.

Priyanka returned to the Todi family after the ceremony, while Rizwanur continued his work at the multi-media centre. Rizwanur Rahman approached his brother in late August and admitted to having secretly married. He returned Priyanka to his family’s tiny flat in a working-class Muslim neighbourhood on August 31. He and Priyanka wrote a letter to the cops, requesting protection from her father.

Rahman died on September 21st, just two weeks after his wife was forcibly separated from him. His body was discovered with his hands folded over his chest and a serious wound on the back of his skull beside a railway line.

On 16 October 2007, the High Court ruled that the Rizwanur death investigation carried out by the State Government is illegal, and ordered a Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) enquiry. On 17 October 2007, under intense pressure from the civil society, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya stated that all five suspected police officers, including the commissioner, Prasun Mukherjee, and deputy commissioners Gyanwant Singh and Ajay Kumar, who were fully aware that Rizwanur did not commit any crime according to law, but still actively participated in the threatening and torturing due to some understanding with Ashok Todi, will be transferred from their current posts with immediate effect. He also agreed to run a CBI enquiry according to the High Court ruling and said that if the transferred police officers are found guilty by the CBI, they will be punished according to law.


[1] Smt. Chandrapati vs State of Haryana

[2] Ashok Kumar Todi vs Kishwar Jahan & Ors

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.