Social Evils like Honour killings are still prevalent in India despite the emerging modern mind set and advance thinking of the people. – Telangana High Court

Adjudicated upon a bail petition involving a case of honour killing. The High Court while adjudicating upon the case was of the opinion that even after 73 years of Independence social evils like the practice of honour killings is still prevalent in India held by Justice K. Lakshman. Even after such advanced thinking and modern mindsets the society believes and carries out such practices which are unethical and against the fundamental rights of the citizens. The High Court while adjudicating upon the bail plea stated above in the case of Gudur Sandeep Reddy & Ors. Vs. the State of Telangana [Criminal Petition No. 5819, 5939, 6095 & 6097 of 2020].

The brief facts of the case are that the Accused i.e. Petitioners were the parents and relatives of the Complainant. The complainant had married without the consent of the accused with the deceased i.e. her husband. The Accused did not approve of the relationship as the complainant and the deceased belonged to different caste and so the accused tried to convince the complainant to leave the deceased and return back home. The Complainant did not listen to the accused and they felt insulted. The Accused conspired and murder the husband of the complainant. As the murder was due to inter-caste marriage the case was of honour killing. The charges of conspiracy, kidnapping and murder were framed against all the accused and they were all arrested. Hence, they filed a petition for a grant of bail.

In the case, the Petitioners before the High Court submitted that the allegations made against them are baseless and vague. There is no proof or evidence that all the accused had conspired and were present at the same time at the crime scene. The Prosecution opposed the bail plead and stated that there were submissions made by the accused in the remand that proved there was a clear intention of murder involved. Further, the case involves a heinous crime of honour killing and if bail is granted in this case a wrong message would be conveyed to society.

The Single Bench Judge of the High Court strongly opposed the social evil of honour killing and stated that “This is not for the first time such an incident was happened in India, more particularly, in the State of Telangana. Honour killings have been happening now and then. Unfortunately, even after 73 years of Independence, the said incidents have been happening in India. ‘Honour Killing’ is another social evil that Indian Society is facing. ‘Honour Killings’ are still holding their place in today’s society in spite of modern mindset and advanced thinking. It is a global phenomenon. Even the advanced Countries, like the United Kingdom, United States of America are facing the said problem. The statistics given by the National Crime Bureau on honour killing shocks the consciousness of the people of India.” The court further stated that the practice of honour killing is strictly unconstitutional and is against the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The Court in this case rejected the plea to grant bail to the accused in case on the basis that there are sufficient grounds based on the evidence and materials placed on record to believe that the accused has committed the Crime.

The Court came down heavily upon the Police Authorities as well as the Complainant had asked for help from the local police station for protection but no such efforts were made by the Police to prevent the incident and hence their conduct was not satisfactory and they have failed in carrying out their duty. The High Court instructed the police to take proper steps and precautions to prevent such incidents in the future.

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Judgement reviewed by-Sarita Kumari

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