The Supreme Court on March 27, 2018 termed the interference by illegal assemblies like ‘khap panchayat’ in marriages of two consenting adults as’ absolutely illegal’ and laid down guidelines to prevent such intrusions.
The judgement was passed by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. The bench laid down certain punitive and remedial measures to be followed until a suitable legislation is put in place by the Parliament.
• The ruling came on a petition filed against khap panchayats by NGO Shakti Vahini, which had moved the top court in 2010 seeking protection of couples from honour killings.
• The apex court stated that any illegal assembly 'khap' cannot prevent the marriage between two consenting adults.
• The court also sought directions from the Centre and state governments to prevent honour killings.
• In January 2018, the same bench of Justices had termed any attack by khap panchayats or associations against an adult man and woman opting for inter-caste marriage as "absolutely illegal".
• It had ruled that if an adult man and woman decide to marry, no khap panchayat, individual or society can question them.
• The NGO- Shakti Vahini, had moved the Supreme Court in 2010 seeking directions to the central and state governments to prevent and control honour crimes by taking a number of measures.
• Earlier, the apex court had invited khap panchayats to hear their views before issuing any order to stop them from harassing and killing couples and women in the name of 'honour'.
Who: Supreme Court