Govt may bring special law for Honour killings

Dropping its earlier move to bring amendments in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for including honour killings under its ambit, the Centre has decided to look into the scope of enacting a separate special law that will treat it as a social evil along the lines of the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act. PM Manmohan Singh referred the matter to a Group of Ministers (GoM) on Thursday and agreed that views of states be sought, after the Cabinet, following a spirited discussion, backed Home Minister P Chidambaram’s contention that there was a need to give special focus to the issue of honour killings.
Sources said at the Cabinet meet, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal questioned the logic of moving amendments to the IPC along with the Indian Evidence Act and the Special Marriages Act to deal with honour killings. Sibal’s argument, supported by other colleagues like Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, was that any “honour” killing just amounted to murder and hence, the need should be on ensuring action over the murder charges rather than classify them as a separate category of murder. They were of the view that existing laws were adequate to deal with the problem.

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