Chidambaram says law on honour killing may be amended

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New Delhi, Aug 5 (ANI): Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday said that the government is actively considering a proposal to amend the existing law or to enact a separate law in order to tackle the crime of 'honour killing'.

'In pursuance of the cabinet decision, a Group of Ministers (GoM) has been constituted to consider a draft bill on the subject,' Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha in response to a calling Attention notice on the situation arising out of the recent spurt in the incidents of "Honour Killings".

"Honour crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, mostly committed by family members predominantly against female relatives, who are perceived to have brought dishonour upon the family," he added.

He said honour killings are rooted in antiquated traditions and social values.

"Since 'honour killing' is not a crime classified separately under the Indian laws, no data is collected separately regarding this crime by the National Crime Records Bureau, and the same is covered under 'murder'," he added.

"Moreover, it is difficult to identify or classify an 'honour killing/crime' as such in any given community, since the reasons for such killings often remain a closely guarded private family matter," he said.

"At present, there is no separate law to deal with the 'honour killing and such crimes are dealt with under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and are investigated and prosecuted as offences under the IPC/Cr.P.C.," he added.

He further said that as per Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, 'Police' and 'Public Order' are State subjects and, therefore, the State Governments/UT Administrations are primarily responsible for the prevention, detection, registration, investigation and prosecuting of crimes including that of 'honour killing'.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had sought a response from the central government and eight states including Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand on the honour killing issue.

The apex court directed the authorities to explain measures being taken to prevent such heinous crimes. (ANI)

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