"If an adult girl or boy choose to marry, no khap, society can question," SC

New Delhi, Feb 5: Sending across a strong message to the self-styled Khap Panchayats the Supreme Court gave a tight rap on the knuckles. SC on Monday reiterated that no one can interfere in the decision of an adult boy or girl to get married. It rightly cracked a whip against Khap Panchayats in cases related to the honour-killings.

Hearing the case today, the Supreme Court asked the Central government and petitioners to come up with effective suggestions for the protection of couples in khap panchayat matters.

While hearing the matter, the apex court told the advocate representing Khap Panchayats that “it is the courts to decide, if marriages are legally valid or not.”
The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, said, "If the Centre does not act against Khap Panchayats, then the court will step in."

The apex court bserved "no Khap Panchayat or society can question" if an adult man and woman opt for an inter-caste marriage.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra noted that police should be held responsible for protection for couples in such matters.

"If an adult girl or boy choose to marry, no khap, society or parents can question them," said Supreme Court

The bench further stated that the question whether a marriage is legally valid or not should be left for the courts to decide.

“You stay out of it,” the court told the lawyer representing khap panchayats.

Such actions would be "absolutely illegal", the court had ruled.

"Whenever there is any kind of collective attack on a boy or girl who are adult, it is absolutely illegal," the bench said.

Khaps are caste or community organisations in villages which at times act as quasi-judicial bodies and pronounce harsh punishments based on regressive and age-old customs and traditions.

News24Bureau with Agencies