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Honour killing verdict judge gets death threats.

THE JUDGE who recently pronounced the landmark verdict awarding death sentence to five men for honour killing has sought transfer from Karnal, the heartland of the caste panchayats in Haryana.

Additional district and sessions judge Vani Gopal Sharma fears for her life since the verdict has raised the hackles of the caste panchayats.

She has been receiving death threats.

She had earlier approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking security. Though the police enhanced her security, the administrative machinery in Karnal has failed to instill confidence in the judge.

Sources said she has approached the administrative judge of Karnal sessions division, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, requesting him to shift her to a centre near Chandigarh.

Sharma had sentenced seven persons -- five of them to death -- in the Manoj- Babli honour killing case. At the behest of the caste panchayat, the couple was murdered by Babli's relatives for marrying in the same sub- caste.

The caste panchayats of the Jat heartland, however, remain defiant and have demanded a ban on marriages within the same sub- caste. A delegation of Sarv Khap Panchayat leaders on Thursday submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil in Delhi. They urged the President to ban intra- gotra ( sub- caste) weddings and to ensure amendment in the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955, for the purpose.

" A girl and a boy of the same gotra or same village are considered siblings. The government should recognise the caste panchayat as its process of justice is much faster than that of the courts," said Dinesh Ahlawat, who was a member of the delegation.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 17, 2010
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