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Apr 19, 2011 at 07:07pm IST

Khap panchayats are illegal: Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday termed Khap panchayats as kangaroo courts and declared them illegal. The Supreme Court ruling said that Khap panchayats are wholly illegal and have to be ruthlessly stamped out.

A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said in a judgement that the new trends of kangaroo courts, honour killings, "khap" panchayaths in northern India and "katta" panchayats in Tamil Nadu were barbaric and illegal, the perpetrators of which required the harshest punishment.

Terming honour killings as shameful, the apex court said, "There is nothing honourable in honour killing or other atrocities and, in fact, it is nothing but a barbaric and shameful murder."

Khap panchayats are illegal: Supreme Court

The SC bench termed Khap panchayats as kangaroo courts and said they should be stamped out.

"Atrocities with respect to personal lives of people, committed by brutal, feudal minded persons deserve harsh punishment," the Supreme Court said.

The Supreme Court has now directed State Government to suspend the District Magistrate/Collector and SSP/SPs of the district as well as other officials concerned and chargesheet them.

The bench said the Government should proceed against such officials departmentally if they do not prevent the incident despite having prior knowledge.

"If they failed to promptly apprehend the culprits and others involved and institute criminal proceedings against them, as in our opinion they will be deemed to be directly or indirectly accountable in this connection," the bench said.

"Only in this way can we stamp out such acts of barbarism and feudal mentality. Moreover,these acts take the law into their own hands, and amount to kangaroo courts, which are wholly illegal," the bench said.

The apex court ruling said copy of the judgement shall be sent to all Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries and Director Generals of Police in all States and Union Territories for circulating the same to the district magistrates and SSPs for compliance.

(With additional information from PTI)

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