Mumbai: Government frames rules to curb honour killings, 'khap panchayat' diktats against couples, mob violence in Maharashtra

The decision asked the Director General of Police to apprise personnel across the state force of their implementation.

PTIUpdated: Friday, October 21, 2022, 04:16 PM IST
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Maharashtra Government frames rules to curb honour killings, 'khap panchayat' diktats against couples, mob violence. |

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has framed rules to prevent honour killings, 'khap panchayat' diktats, mob lynchings, as well as violence, and asked the Director General of Police to apprise personnel across the state force of their implementation, an official said on Friday.

The rules, which were mentioned in a government resolution (GR) issued on Thursday, are in keeping with the recommendations of the Supreme Court on the issue, he added.

The GR has directed that police stations across Maharashtra should exercise alertness if an incident of inter-caste or inter-religious marriage is reported in their respective jurisdictions.

It also laid down that 'khap panchayat' and similar organisations should be reported to district and police authorities, and law-enforcing agencies must get in touch with the members of these outfits and tell them such meetings are not allowed as per law.

Local police must be alert and, if necessary, ban such meetings, the GR stated, adding that if a meeting is held despite a ban, then the deputy superintendent of police must be in attendance and participants must be told no decision should be taken that harms the couple in question or their kin.

The resolution added that police will be required to video such meetings, and people who take decisions in violation of rules will be liable to be booked for criminal offences, the resolution added.

If the meeting of a khap panchayat or any such outfit cannot be banned as per law and if there is a possibility that the couple's lives are at risk, prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) should be issued and participants must be arrested, as per the GR.

Apart from arrests under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provisions, remedial measures will include protection for the couple and their families.

The district magistrate, police commissioner, or superintendent should handle the threats given to the couple and their families sensitively, and it must be checked if the couple are adults, so that, if needed, they can be helped to get their marriage registered.

Complaints from the couple about threats being received from relatives, community members, and khap panchayat-like bodies must be probed by local authorities and a report should be submitted within a week, and those threatening the couple should be booked under section 151 of the CrPC, it said.

Police officials not adhering to these rules deliberately or due to negligence can face punitive action, including departmental inquiry under service rules.

"To stop mob violence and lynching, police have been asked to train rapid action force teams in each district. Water cannons and tear gas should be used to control mobs. Attackers at the site should be immediately arrested," the resolution stressed.

The GR stated that in cases where a protest by a group or organization has resulted in violence and loss of property , the leaders or office-bearers of the group should present themselves for questioning in the police station within 24 hours, failing which they will be declared absconders and will have to face legal action.

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