Justice Markandey Katju commented over the issue referring to many cases that have emerged recently especially in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and parts of Rajasthan. He was speaking at a lecture in Chennai and slammed the part played by panchayats in encouraging such acts.
Katju stated, "These honour killings are done or encouraged by the caste panchayats. As these panchayats are vote banks for those in power, they do not want to disturb their vote bank." He also came down heavily on district magistrates and superintendents of police and said that if such cases came to light in their region, they "should be placed under suspension".
He also added, “The maximum one can do if your girl is marrying someone against your will is to sever social relations with her and nothing more."
Justice Katju, speaking on the increasing cases of fake encounters coming to light by policemen, said that they should be handed down death sentence and declared that the police was meant to "protect the public and not murder them. ...This is a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution which says that no one will be deprived of his life and liberty except when the procedure is instructed by law".
He also came up with an argument that in some cases policemen reasoned with such crimes stating they were instructed to do so by their superiors. He enquired if a policemen will carry out a crime because a superintendent of police asked him to and sought, "should he follow that order? You have to uphold the law".
He added, "If you want to punish somebody, criminal or whatever, you have to charge him in the court of law, you have to follow the procedure, hold a trial, give him an opportunity to defend himself and then he can be punished."
Justice Katju, during his role as part of the Supreme Court bench, had held that fake encounter killings should be considered the rarest of rare and went ahead and said that the police personnel involved in such acts should receive the maximum sentence. He had also declared last year that those charged for honour killings should receive capital punishment.