Honour killing

This article is written by Krish Bhatia. This article has been edited by Ojuswi (Associate, Lawsikho). 

This article has been published by Sneha Mahawar.

“This gendercide must be tackled by a revision of all laws.” Killing is killing, and placing the word ‘honor’ in front of it should never be justification enough for allowing its escalation. ” -Aysha Taryam, The Opposite of Indifference: A Collection of Commentaries

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Indian society is a multilateral,multi-traditional society where there are different types of gentries, classes, creeds, and sections where everyone believes that their class is stylish on the whole and every person of that class should follow their customs and traditions throughout their lives. Where women are considered the deliverer of honour to the family.

A rising number of honour killings in India has been reported over the last three months. These so-called “honour codes” are the product of deeply embedded patriarchal social and artistic prejudices. Honour killings are also common in South India and the western Indian countries of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

In this society, women who attempt to transgress their rights are considered an attack on the artistic morals of the community and are vigorously resisted. This counter-conditioning taken by her family members in the name of honour leads to honour killing.

Substantially, in these cases, women are the targets, but lately, there are some cases where males are also targeted and boggled in the name of honour payoff. Though there are no specific laws governing similar types of killing by family members.


What is honour killing

Human Rights defines “honour killings” as acts of violence, generally, murder, committed by manly family members against women of the family, which, according to family members, bring downfall and reduce their respect among their guests. Report No. 242 on Honor Crimes by the Law Commission of India According to the study, these types of cases are increasing in northern India over time.

A large number of honour killing cases happen every day in India. This is veritably abusive for ultramodern and developing India. These acts are frequently grounded in ideas of the “honour” of the family whose son has married outside estate considerations. Despite being brutal and current, these crimes are frequently underreported and inadequately remunerated. An honour payoff is the murder of a family member by fellow family members, in which the perpetrators believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community.

Laws regarding honor killing

Indian law

In India, as of now, there’s no specific codified law to deal with honour killings. The Protection from Lynching bill was introduced in Parliament to reduce the number of crimes for honour killing, but it is currently dormant. Still, the station of the bar, superintendent, and council on similar cases can be anatomized with the help of judicial precedents and other codified laws which hold similar practices inferior.

The articles from the constitution which cover honour killing are:

International law

The problem of honour killing is rising daily, indicating the need to address the circumstances of honour killings as the European Parliamentary Assembly in 2009 noted in their Resolution 1681, which noted the dire need to address honour crimes. The bones regarding the provocation defence that explicitly limit the heirs of the defence to men can be seen as directly discriminative, as by explicitly mentioning only one coitus, the other is barred. Also, the Islamic qisas and diyat vittles can be seen as directly discriminative as they separate between remedies for murder grounded on coitus. Similar laws can also be seen as substantiation of institutionalized demarcation against women.

Thus, for instance, Composition 98 of the Jordanian Penal Code is a clear example of circular demarcation as it is used by Jordanian courts. Also, the so-called “artistic defence” may be laterally discriminative. Due to the laterally discriminative operation of Article 98 of the Penal Code, Jordan, as a party to the ICCPR, violates the non-discrimination clauses of the Covenant.

Also, similar laws violate the right to equivalency before the law as provided for in Article 14 of the ICCPR. Under CEDAW, directly discriminative laws relating to recognizing killings can be seen as violations of Section 2(c). Arguably, laws similar to provocation defence laws give a defence to citizens, mainly men.

Also, Section 2(c) is applicable in cases of circular demarcation as it obliges countries to ensure that women are defended against any form of demarcation. In this environment, the operation of the law results in discriminatory goods. Thus,e.g., Jordan violates Article 2 due to the court operation of Article 98 of the Penal Code. Also, frequently with mischievous goods for the women concerned, it implies that the government of Pakistan has failed in its duty to ensure the protection of women against demarcation through ” competent public bars.”

What the law ought to be for honour killings

Due to the rise in honour killings, the Indian government is amending India’s penal code, 1860, to address honour killings. But there are a few sections in our constitution for honour killing. These are as follows:

  • Sections 299 to 304 are culpable homicide which penalizes anyone accused of a murder that does not amount to murder. The punishment for murder is a life judgment or death and forfeiture. 
  • Section 307 is an attempt to murder, which has a sentence of over 10 years and a fine. However, the penalty can extend to life imprisonment if a person is hurt. Section 308 punishes the attempt to commit reproachable homicide with imprisonment for more than three years, a fine, or both.
  • Sections 120A and B provide information about anyone who is a party to a felony conspiracy.
  • Sections 107-116 punish people who assist in crimes such as murder and reprehensible homicide.
  • Sections 34 and 35 penalize felonious acts done by several people in the headway of common intention.

Case law

Smt. Laxmi Kachhwaha vs. State of Rajasthan (1999)

In this case, a PIL was filed in the Rajasthan High Court against the Khap Panchayat who were operating illegally. The court came out to the conclusion that the Khap panchayat should be restricted for their operation and their people should be behind the bars. 

Manoj Babli case on March 11, 2011

Two victims, Manoj and Babli, are involved in this historic case of an honour killing. The Khap Panchayat determined that they should both recognize each other as their brother and sister because they both loved one other and had married in defiance of the Khap Panchayat’s wishes. They weren’t prepared to accept this, though. Insecticides were compelled down their throats when they protested. After being strangled, their bodies were dumped into the canal. After this, some family members who were involved in this crime got arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.


Honour killings are India’s most brutal and violent crimes against anyone. It has a long history in Indian culture and is still rehearsed in numerous corridors of the country. Cases similar to these show that further than half of the Indians still lead lives within the strong pillars of the estate system and indeed moment youths don’t have the power to make opinions regarding their own lives.

To see that indeed moment, people blindly commit similar barbaric crimes and consider it an act of sanctifying the impure shows that India has not streamlined. Development has to be from the very base, the core. Or differently, it’s just a concave rustic structure eaten on the inside by the termites that ultimately come crashing down. Caste, religion, communities, and traditional beliefs are the main reasons. Indeed though the all Domestic Women’s Association offered multitudinous recommendations, the government took no action, and India still lacks a specific law.


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