From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nothing much
Mains level : Honour killings
A bill was passed in the Rajasthan Assembly to curb incidents of ‘honour killing’ in the State with the provision of punishment of death penalty or life imprisonment for murdering couples in the name of family honour.
About the Bill
The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019 was passed by a voice vote.
The lawmakers said that Sections of the IPC and the CrPc were not adequate in dealing with such cases so the Bill was moved.
It has been introduced so that people overcome the narrow mindset
In the past five years in the state, 71 cases of illegal diktat given by ‘Khap Panchayats’ (caste councils which function like kangaroo courts) were registered and 10 cases of honour killing occurred.
Provisions of the Bill
The Bill provisions punishment of death penalty or life imprisonment till natural death for killing a couple or either of them in the name of honour.
Whoever causes death of a couple or either of them on the basis that marriage of such couple has dishonoured, or brought disrepute to the caste, community or family shall be punished with death, or with imprisonment for life.
It shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine which may extend to ₹5 lakh.
If the couple or either of them is grievously hurt, the punishment will be from 10 years rigorous imprisonment to imprisonment for life and with fine of maximum ₹3 lakh, whereas the punishment will be three to five years imprisonment with fine which may extend to ₹2 lakh in case of simple injuries, it says.
Ban on unlawful assembly
According to the Bill, SDM or the DM shall receive any request or information from any person or persons seeking protection from any unlawful assembly, or from any other person who is likely to or who have been
objecting to any lawful marriage.
It says no person or group shall assemble at any time with the view or intention to deliberate on or condemn any marriage, not prohibited by law.
On the basis that such marriage has dishonoured the caste or community tradition or brought disrepute to all or any of the persons forming part of the assembly or the family or the people of the locality concerned.
Such gathering shall be treated unlawful and every person convening or organising such assembly, and every member, thereof, participating therein directly or indirectly shall be punishable with imprisonment.
Why need such bill?
There has been a spurt in illegal intimidation by self-appointed bodies for bringing pressure against ‘sagotra’ marriages and inter-caste, inter-community and inter-religious marriages between two consenting adults in the name of vindicating the honour of family, caste or community.
Although, such intimidation or acts of violence constitute offences under the Indian Penal Code, it is necessary to prevent assemblies which take place to condemn such alliances as also to punish such acts of violence and
criminal intimidation severely.
The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019’ was also passed.
Definition of a mob lynching
The Bill defines the mob as a group of two or more individuals.
It also defines lynching as an act or series of acts of violence or those of aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or preplanned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation or ethnicity
For the offence of an assault by mob, leading to the victim suffering grievous hurts, the Bill provides for jail terms up to 10 years and a fine of ₹25,000 to ₹3 lakh.
In cases of the victims suffering simple injuries, the Bill proposes imprisonment up to seven years and a fine up to ₹1 lakh.
For hatching a conspiracy of lynching or aiding, abetting or attempting such an offence, the Bill seeks to punish the offenders in the same manner as if he actually committed the offence of lynching.
The Bill also enlists various other offences related to the lynching such as dissemination of offensive materials, propagation of hostile environment and obstructing legal processes, which would be punishable with jail terms varying from three to five years.
It also stipulates the provision of compensation to victims by the State government as per the Rajasthan
Victim Compensation Scheme.
It also binds the State government to take necessary measures to rehabilitate the victims of mob lynching, suffering displacements from their native places.
Empowering state police
The Bill also empowers the State police chief to appoint a state coordinator of the rank of IG of Police to prevent the incidents of lynching in the State with the district SPs acting as the district’s coordinator.
They are to be assisted by a Dy.SPs for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.