An honor killing or shame killing is the act of vengeance, the usual murder of any family member or any other person who is related to the family in which he/she is held to have brought dishonor or disgrace to the family. This act is done by their own family members in order to restore their pride and honor.

In India, there are more than a thousand cases reported every year though the figures remain unreliable. Honor killing is basically practiced in the Northern part and rural areas of India. In many cases, multiple family members plan the murder through a formal “family council”. And in certain cases, where the victim is an outsider, not punishing the latter would accuse the family of cowardice.



Khap Panchayat is a group or organization of caste courts in a village. They support honor killing and especially indulge in offensive acts against the couple who want to marry according to their free will. These caste-based councils are common in the inner regions of several Indian states, such as Haryana, Punjab, western Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Rajasthan. The Khap Panchayat is declared illegal as well as unconstitutional by the court but still, they exist as they are believed to give an instant verdict, thereby saving time.


  • When a woman refuses to enter into an arranged marriage.
  •  Marrying outside one’s caste or religion.
  •  When a woman wants to seek a divorce even from an abusive husband.
  •  Same Gotra marriages.
  •  Infidelity
  •  Allegedly committing Adultery.
  •  When a woman is a victim of a sexual assault or rape.
  •  Disobeying the dress code given by the family members.
  •  Homosexuality



Sections 107-116, 299-304, and 307-308 of the IPC penalizes people for committing or abetting culpable homicide and murder, they also impose punishments for the same. Sections 34 and 35 punish for an act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention. Section 120A and 120B penalizes whoever is a contributor in a criminal conspiracy.

Honor killing infringes the rights of that person given in Article 14(Equality before law), Article 15(Restriction of discriminations on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth and creating special provisions for women), Article 19(Protection of freedom of speech and expression), Article21(Protection of life and personal liberty) and 39(f)(Protection of children against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment) of the Indian Constitution.



  • Death penalty or life imprisonment and penalty of about 5 lakhs to the accused convicted of honor killing.
  • ·In cases of grievous hurt a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment may be imposed along with a fine of Rs 3 lakh.
  • 3-5 years of imprisonment with a fine up to Rs 2 lakhs will be imposed in case of hurt and injuries.



  • Khap panchayats should be dissolved so that they lose their powers in the villages.
  • Applying the deterrent theory by instilling the fear of the consequences of honor killing.
  • Educating people about the irrelevance of Gotra in the 21st century.
  • Spreading awareness about the illegality of the act and its orthodoxy especially in the rural areas of the country.
  • Enforcement of strict punishments by the government.
  • Providing police protection to all those, who have been given even a mere threat of murder.
  • Making people aware of the laws and their protection.



Honor killing is a sign of weakness and there is nothing honorable in it. In my viewpoint, it is a barbarous and shameful act prevalent in our society. It is high time to educate society about the irrelevance of this crime.  However, there are some limitations imposed by the courts but analyzing it from the perspective of our society, it is the orthodox belief that is provoking the family members in doing such a heinous crime.



Crying shame: The honour killings that shocked India in 2018- The New  Indian Express







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