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Weird diktat: Panchayat must be prudent in their judgement

By Pravin

SC termed has declared khap panchayat illegal
The rape of a minor girl in Jharkhand reportedly on panchayat's diktat has once again raised questions on the relevance of panchayats and their rulings. After the panchayat's diktat a minor was raped just because her brother molested a woman in Gulgulia Dhora village in Bokaro district of the State. According to reports, the girl was raped by a person whose wife was molested by her brother.

This is not the first incident where panchayat is drawing flak over its absurd judgment but a number of times their judgment created furore.

Foremost to mention here is the infamous Birbhum gangrape case where a 20-year-old tribal woman was gangraped by 13 men in a West Bengal village on the orders of a salishi sabha, the State's equivalent of khap panchayats. The panchayat's diktat came after she was found to be in love with a man of different community. Massive outrage in the media and elsewhere, prompted the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice and direct the West Bengal Government to take action against the culprits.

A woman was gangraped by 13 men in Bengal after panchayat's diktat

Similarly, the khap panchayats have created wide controversies through their diktats, be it decision against same sub-caste marriages and marriages in the same village, to banning mobile phones in Baghpat or even evening walks. The Khap panchayats, which predate India's constitution by centuries, neither respect the Indian Constitution nor Supreme Court or even law of land and continue to be notorious for their controversial orders throughout the country.

In the past also, we have witnessed murder, rape and gangrape in panchayat's rulings which hold no constitutional validity.

In 2004, the Khap had ordered turn-by-turn rape of a mother whose 20-year-old son eloped a girl, in in Bhawanipur village of Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.

In 2011, the Supreme Court termed Khap panchayats as kangaroo courts and declared them illegal. The Supreme Court ruling said that Khap panchayats are wholly illegal and have to be ruthlessly stamped out. But, due to support from some prominent politicians and illiterate villagers they continue to deliver bizarre judgments.

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