Author : Akansha Anand, Student at FIMT-School of Law. New Delhi
“THERE IS NO HONOUR IN KILLING”
Honor killing refers to the killing of a human being for the sake of honor, that is society honor and family honor. Basically, it is the killing of a member of the family to restore their pride. But the question arises whether this kind of killing is honorable? Whether they are not opposed to humanity? Whether the family has the right to decide how can they protect their so-called honor of family by killing someone and whether they have the right to end a person’s life of another because of any reason? Is legislature have made any separate law for honor killing in India? What are the main reasons of honor killing? In this article, all these questions have been answered along with the famous case law and the constitutionality of the offense of honor killing.
Keywords : Honor Killing, Legislature.
The ancient practice of honor killing was a killing done for the reputation of society and family, thinking about the honor, the supreme authority of the society or family status of the family declare to kill a particular person forgetting about the affection and love towards the members of the family.
In India, the violence of honor killing was majorly done against women in the matter of marriage and sexuality especially. From ancient times, India has been the most widespread and tenacious form of gender violence. India does not have any kind of specified law against honor crimes.
An honor killing can be done against a specific group of people or a large number of people or people specified community and religion. In local areas, the honor killing is a practice that is used to prevent and punish people of their tribe. The community which is largely affected by the attack of honor killing in history is the LGBT community.
SITUATIONS THAT ARE OERCIEVED TO BE DISHONOURED TO SOCIETY (RISE THE HONOUR KILLING)–
Honor killing is an inhuman act, killing of a person by a family member or society have no rationality. There are some situations that lead to an increasing number of human killing in the past as well as in present, the most common reasons are-
- FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PERSON OF ANOTHER CASTE OR RELIGION-
Caste or religion has been given most of the importance in Indian society. That importance has led to a lot of discrimination among people. Hence, whenever a person falls in love with another person of another caste or religion, then it has led to the family & society dissatisfaction. It is also the most common reason for honor killing. Can love be a reason for killing someone? It is the most heinous act that is done by people in the name of their reputation.
- DRESSING IN A MANNER WHICH IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BY FAMILY OR COMMUNITY-
The rationality of thoughts of people who are cheap, who think that showing body part is a sin is wrong and in past many women got honor killed by the society by dressing in the manner which was not acceptable by them. They had no right of desire to dress by their own choice.
- DOING ANY HETEROSEXUAL OR HOMOSEXUAL ACTS-
Homosexuality is the human being who is attracted to people of one’s sex and heterosexuality is the human being that attracts the person of the opposite sex. Any act which is related to sexual intercourse before marriage or outside the marriage have been always consider as a sin because a lot of lives were taken in the name of honor and reputation. Many persons of the LGBT community were attacked by society and were killed because of their sexuality.
The conditions which are mentioned above are the most famous one but there is a long list of situations in which honor killing is prevailing at a high rate.
HONOUR KILLING AND ROLE OF INDIAN LAWS-
Every country in this universe has provided a good law which provides a rightful life to its citizens. In India, the legislature has not directly provided any specific law for the offense of honor killing but indirectly the supreme power of the law has been provided by the Constitution of India, in which the rights of every citizen are vested without any discrimination on the basis of their caste, religion or gender. The Constitution of India has provided a country that is a secular state which means the country India is a state without any religion.
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution provides that each and every citizen of India is equal, Article 15 of the Indian Constitution provides that no one, even the state have no right to discriminate among the citizens on the basis of race, religion, gender or color. Hence, if the citizens are equal then the citizen has no right to kill each other in the name of their respect. Article 19 provides that each and every citizen gave liberty to speak, to reside by their wise, to have the occupation of their choice, therefore, no one can curtail anyone’s right to desire the decisions of their own life. Article 21 provides a fundamental right, “right to life”, which can not be curtailed except procedure established by law, and honorable killing has not been established by law but it is banned by law. Therefore, by the fundamental laws, no one can do honor killing.
Another law that indirectly criminalizes honor killing is the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which is a codified law that provides punishment for the various crimes. Section 299 and 301 provides the definition for the culpable homicide and murder and declare it punishable, hence it indirectly criminalize the honor killing in India.
COUNTRY WITH THE HIGHEST RATE OF HONOUR KILLING–
Pakistan is the country which has the highest rate of honor killing, which is locally known as karo-kari in Pakistan, the meaning of karo kari is karo means black or blackened man and kari means black or blackened woman. It is specially done in the Sindh region of Pakistan. Karo kari is metaphoric terms used for adulterer and adulterous. Once a person named by the society as karo and kari especially woman (kari) then their family member consider themselves to kill them to restore the reputation of their families.
About one-fifth of the honor killing in the world is done in Pakistan. The practice of honor killing in Pakistan has been given a huge place in the past due to which it is also prevailing in the high rate there. The various activists (international as well as domestic) are trying so hard to stop it but it is not possible to fully end this practice of honor killing unless the general public chooses to condemn this practice.
ANALYSIS OF FAMOUS CASE “MANOJ BABLI” OF HONOUR KILLING-
In June 2007, Manoj and Babli were killed due to the honor killing by the khap panchayats of their village. Both of them lived in karoran village of kaithlal. Manoj was only earning member of his family. Both Manoj and Babli belong to the same village. Hence, their marriage will be considered to be incest in the village. Manoj and Babli flew away from the village and done the court marriage by broking out the village and its rules. This was the reason for their honor killing.
The case was presented in a district court of Karnal. In March 2010, the court gave punishment to the five perpetrators and sentence them to execute and the khap panchayat who ordered the honor killing was punished with life imprisonment. It was the first time the death penalty was given in the case of honor killing.
The most inhuman and irrational crime is the crime of honor killing. The legislature should provide a specific law and punishment for honor killing, so that the judiciary and the administrative authority have a well-prescribed law but it is true that a lot of laws can be made by a nation but prevailing of these laws is prevented because of the people of this society mindset and mentality, & in the country like India where caste, religion, and gender have given most of the importance, Sometimes more than the life. Hence, it is important for the citizens to rise above the clouds of race, religion, or caste.
At last, people should understand that the real honor is in protecting the family members and being liberal and open-minded towards the way of life
- ARUN PAL, Honour Killing: Culture, Dilemma, and Ritual, 2012
- Chander Suta Dogra (2013).