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Proposals to check the crime.

EVEN as the government dithers over bringing a law to check honour killing, the proposed amendments in the procedural laws are aimed at pinning down the perpetrators of honour killings.

The amendments will seek to bring honour killing under the definition of ' murder' and make liable for punishment not just caste/ clan panchayats but also families that perpetrate the crime.

A senior official said: " By specifically including ' family' among those who will be liable, the government hopes to tackle cases like that of journalist Nirupama Pathak. It was an honour killing not on the decree of a caste panchayat but by her family. So the law needs to be all encompassing." The government has proposed to amend the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code ( CrPC) as well as the Indian Evidence Act and the Special Marriage Act for the purpose.

To facilitate inter- caste and inter- religion marriages, the government plans to do away with the 30- day mandatory notice period for registration of marriages under the Special Marriage Act.

Through amendment in the Evidence Act, the government proposes to put the onus of proving innocence, in case of an honour killing, on the accused.

Whether these stringent provisions will ultimately pass muster with a government that has already started dithering over them remains to be seen.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jul 9, 2010
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