HONOUR KILLING- HONOURABLE PEOPLE TURN MURDERER


On a scale of Fake honour and child, Fake honour always wins.  The killers justify their actions by claiming that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family name or prestige and they can’t show their face to society. Their name gets disgraceful because of the act performed by their progeny. In a patriarchal family, the mindset of the family is the male member considers themselves as a superior person and the only one who can make a decision for the family. Females are considered as a weaker section and she has to follow whatever decision is taken by a male member without questioning it. They believe that the female member of the family should obey the rules and decisions made by the male member. The decision of the female life’s becomes the responsibility of the male member- 1st her father then brothers and later on her Husband. She herself can’t take any decision of her own life and if she does so or if she refuses to obey the order made by the superior then she has to pay for it by sacrificing her life, getting the target of murder, or by assault.



Honor killing or shame killing is the murder of an individual, either an outsider or a member of a family, by someone seeking to protect what they see as the dignity and honor of their family. Religion is often a motive, and those killed will often be more liberal than the murderer rather than genuinely “dishonorable”. Most often, it involves the murder of a woman or girl by male family members, due to the perpetrators’ belief that the victim has brought dishonor or shame upon the family name, reputation, or prestige. Many honor killings are planned by multiple members of a family, sometimes through a formal “family council”. The threat of murder is used as a means to control behavior, especially concerning sexuality and marriage, which may be seen as a duty for some or all family members to uphold. Family members may feel compelled to act to preserve the reputation of the family in the community and avoid stigma or shunning, particularly in tight-knit communities. Perpetrators often do not face negative stigma within their communities, because their behavior is seen as justified.


Human Rights Watch defines “honor killings” as follows:

Honor crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by her family for a variety of reasons including,

  • refusing to enter into an arranged marriage,
  • being the victim of a sexual assault,
  • Seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has acted in a manner to bring “dishonor” to the family is sufficient to trigger an attack.

Men can also be the victims of honor killings by members of the family of a woman with whom they are perceived to have an inappropriate relationship, by raping a woman or a man, or by partaking in gay activities.


Matthew A. Goldstein, J.D. (Arizona), has noted that honor killings were encouraged in ancient Rome, where male family members who did not take action against the female adulterers in their families were “actively persecuted”.

The origin of honor killings and the control of women is evidenced throughout history in the cultures and traditions of many regions. The Roman law of pater familias gave complete control to the men of the family over both their children and wives. Under these laws, the lives of children and wives were at the discretion of the men in their families. Ancient Roman law also justified honor killings by stating that women who were found guilty of adultery could be killed by their husbands. During the Qing dynasty in China, fathers and husbands had the right to kill daughters who were deemed to have dishonored the family.

Among the Indigenous Aztecs and Incas, adultery was punishable by death. During John Calvin’s rule of Geneva, women found guilty of adultery were punished by being drowned in the Rhône river.

Honor killings have a long tradition in Mediterranean Europe. According to the Honour Related Violence – European Resource Book and Good Practice (page 234): “Honor in the Mediterranean world is a code of conduct, a way of life and an ideal of the social order, which defines the lives, the customs and the values of many of the peoples in the Mediterranean moral”


Honor killings are reported in northern regions of India, mainly within the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and therefore the southern state of Tamil Nadu the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Honor killings are reflected in nationwide data from the National Crime Records Bureau. That data showed 251 honor killings in 2015, though activists considered that a big undercount. an equivalent records bureau reported only 24 honor killings in 2019.consistent with a survey by AIDWA, over 30 percent of honor killings within the country happen in Western Uttar Pradesh. In other parts of India, notably West Bengal, honor killings completely ceased a few centuries ago, largely thanks to the activism and influence of reformists like Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Vidhyasagar, and Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

  • Haryana has had many incidences of honor killings, mainly among Meenas, Rajputs, and Jats. The role of khap panchayats (caste councils of village elders) has been questioned. Madhu Kishwar, a professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, claims that only 2% to three honor killings are associated with gotra killings by the khap or caste panchayats, rest are done by the families. “Will you ban families? there are many tyrannical police officials, many incompetent and corrupt judges in India who pass very retrogressive judgments, but nobody says ban the police and therefore the law courts. By what right do they demand a ban on khaps, just because some members have undemocratic views? Educated elite in India does not know anything about the vital role played by these age-old institutions of self-governance.” The Indian state of Punjab also features a sizable amount of honor killings. consistent with data compiled by the Punjab Police, 34 honor killings were reported within the state between 2008 and 2010: 10 in 2008, 20 in 2009, and 4 in 2010.
  • Bhagalpur within the eastern Indian state of Bihar has also been notorious for honor killings. Jagir Kaur a prominent Sikh leader was also charged with an allegation of the homicide of her daughter and she or he was sent to jail. However, murder charges were dropped later by the court. In 1990 the National Commission for ladies found out a statutory body to deal with the problems of honor killings among some ethnic groups in North India. This body reviewed constitutional, legal, and other provisions also as challenges women face. The NCW’s activism has contributed significantly towards the reduction of honor killings in rural areas of North India. consistent with Pakistani activists Hina Jilani and Eman M Ahmed, Indian women are considerably better protected against honor killings by Indian law and government than Pakistani women, and that they have suggested that governments of nations suffering from honor killings use Indian law as a model to stop honor killings in their respective societies
  • In June 2010, scrutinizing the increasing number of honor killings, the Supreme Court of India demanded responses about homicide prevention from the federal and therefore the state governments of Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Tamil Nadu has had 192 cases of honor killings, most concerning marriages between a lady higher within the caste hierarchy than the person she marries. These marriages especially are considered “dishonorable” since the ladies of the caste are liable for its continuation, by having children. consistent with Kathir of anti-caste group Evidence, “There is that this firm belief that if I buy my daughter married to someone of my very own caste, I even have succeeded in safeguarding it. And if not, one’s prestige is challenged, then there’s barbaric anger”.



  • In March 2010, Karnal district court ordered the execution of 5 perpetrators of homicide and imprisoned for all times the khap (local caste-based council) chief who ordered the killings of Manoj Banwala (23) and Babli (19), a person and woman of an equivalent gotra who eloped and married in June 2007. Despite having been given police protection on court orders, they were kidnapped; their mutilated bodies were found every week later in an irrigation canal. In 2013, a young couple who were getting to marry was murdered in Garnauthi village, Haryana, thanks to having a  The woman, Nidhi, was beaten to death and therefore the man, Dharmender, was dismembered alive. People within the village and neighboring villages approved of the killings.
  • Recent cases include a 16-year-old girl, Imrana, from Bhojpur who was assailing fire inside her house during a case of what the police called ‘moral vigilantism’. The victim had screamed for help for about 20 minutes before neighbors arrived, only to seek out her smoldering body. She was admitted to an area hospital, where she later died from her injuries. In May 2008, Jayvirsingh Bhadodiya shot his daughter Vandana Bhadodiya and struck her on the top with an axe. Honor killings occur even in Delhi.
  • Honor killings happen in Rajasthan, too. In June 2012, a person chopped off his 20-year-old daughter’s head with a sword in Rajasthan after learning that she was dating men. Consistent with a policeman, “Omkar Singh told the police that his daughter Manju had relations with several men. He had asked her to fix her ways several times within the  However, she didn’t attend. Out of pure rage, he chopped off her head with the sword”.
  • In 2000 Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu (nicknamed Jassi), a Canadian Punjabi who married rickshaw driver Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu (nicknamed Mithu) against her family’s wishes, was brutally murdered in India following orders from her mother and uncle in Canada in order that “the family honor was restored”. Her body was found in an irrigation canal. Mithu was kidnapped, beaten, and left to die, but survived.
  • In 2016, Chinnaswamy, a member of the Thevar community dominant within the southern part of the state, ordered the killing of his daughter Kausalya and her husband Shankar, belonging to the Dalit Pallar community. The crime, happening at Udumalaipettai bus terminal, was caught on video with Shankar hacked to death in broad daylight, while his wife barely escaped alive. The accused within the case were initially sentenced to death, but later Chinnaswamy was ruled “not guilty” and therefore the other killer’s sentences were reduced.


Shakti Vahini v. Union of India, 2018


Role of the provision in Indian Law

Violation of constitutional rights under Article 14 of the Constitution of India (equality before law) and Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

The barbaric murders kept under the shield to save the family’s reputation are against the constitutional provision of Article 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty), the petition said.

The honour killing violates Article 14 (Equality before law), Article15(1) (Restriction of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth) & Article 15(3) (creating special provision for children and women), Article 19 (Protection of freedom of Speech), Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) and Article 39(f) of the Indian Constitution states that giving children opportunities and facilities to grow in a safe manner and conditions of equality and dignity, and protecting children and young people from abuse and moral and material abandonment.

The Indian legislation seems to have finally awoken to this problem after it has come into the limelight and people are speaking up against such cruelty.

Finally, after the killings, according to the home minister P Chidambaram, the UPA led central government proposed to amend the Indian Penal Code and make Honor Killing a ‘distinct offence’ although how that will make any difference to the present condition still needs to be scrutinized as honour killing amounts to murder which is punishable under law.


Penalties under IPC (Indian Penal Code)

Actual Penalties under Indian Penal Code:

Sections 299304: Penalises any person guilty of murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.  The murder penalty is life imprisonment or death, and a fine. The penalty for non-murder culpable homicide is life imprisonment or imprisonment for up to 10 years, and a fine.

Section 307: Penalises threaten to kill for up to 10 years of imprisonment, and a fine. If a person gets injured, the punishment can extend to life in prison.

Section 308: Penalises attempt to commit culpable homicide by imprisonment for up to 3 years or with fine or with both.  If it causes injury, the person shall be imprisoned or fined for up to 7 years, or both.

Section 120A and 120B: Penalize whoever is a participant in a criminal conspiracy.

Sections 107116: Penalizes people for abetting murders, including murder and culpable homicide.

Section 34 and 35: Penalizes several-person criminal acts in support of common intention.



I will conclude my article stated by the former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra,  against honour killings in India. ” Seeing the hindsight of the honour killing tradition, which prevails in some parts of India and continues to stigmatize community. It activates the caste and gotra culture. Nobody should violate the court rule, otherwise faced accusation of breaking the law. Two adults are free to marry and “no third party” has a right to harass or cause harm to them”.










INDIAN JUDGEMENTS                                                                                                                                      BY-


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