SC tells Khap members: Punishing someone for falling in love is a serious crime
Punishing someone for falling in love is a serious crime, the Supreme Court observed Tuesday when hearing arguments about the granting of bail to 11 people, who were part of a khap panchayat that ordered the hanging of three young people, including a girl and a child who fell in love and wanted to make a life together.
The incident occurred in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh in March 1991 and in total, 33 people were sentenced to life imprisonment for the heinous crime by the Allahabad High Court in May 2016.
Both the girl and the boy belonged to the Jatav community, an established caste, while the khap panchayat consisted mainly of members of the Jat community.
The girl eloped with the boy she loved and with another young man who helped them. When summoned by the khap panchayat, the young woman said she would like to continue living with the boy, enraging the elders, who then forced the parents of the three children to hang them. Both children were beaten and tortured and their private parts were burned before hanging.
Commenting on the facts of the case, the main bank headed by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India (CJI) SA Bobde said: “Crimes are serious and can disrupt society. You cannot punish someone for falling in love. This is a worse form of crime. “
Lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, who appeared for the state, informed the Court that of the 11 applicants, only two people had not served the 10-year sentence. In their request for bail, some defendants claimed that they were of legal age and that there was a possibility of contracting Covid-19 while in jail.
Also read: SC refuses to uphold laws against interfaith marriage, issues notices to UP, Uttarakhand
The court, which also includes judges AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said: “We want to know their state of physical and mental health and whether their release will affect the previous incident or create problems for others or themselves. Even if they are to be released, they must be sent to another district. “
Considering all these aspects, the court ordered the state to arrange for a probation officer to visit the Agra and Mathura prisons and interview the defendants. The officer would present a report to the superior court in two weeks.
The incident occurred on March 27, 1991 in a village below the Barsana Police Station in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. According to the police investigation, 54 people were indicted. After the trial, 38 people were sentenced, of whom eight were sentenced to death and another 30 were sentenced to life imprisonment.