HC directs police to act against illegal dictate of Khap panchayats

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 11:42 hrs

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today asked the city police to produce before it a girl on her husband's plea that she has been confined to her house by her family members, who have been threatening him with dire consequences under their "khap (community) panchayat's illegal dictate and command."

A division bench of justices Veena Birbal and Manmohan Singh also issued notice to the state directing it to file a status report and produce the girl before it on June 25.

"Issue notice to the state. Let the status report be filed on June 25. Let the girl be produced on June 25," the bench said.

The 31-year-old man, a resident of Ghitorni village here, had approached the court saying he had married the girl from city's Sultanpur village in September 2008 without the consent of their family members.

He said the family members were against the marriage as it was "against the convention of people of Gujjar caste of villages Sultanpur and Ghitorni to marry boys or girls from these villages."

He added this convention is maintained under the "illegal dictate" of 'khap panchayats'.

The husband said due to this, they did not disclose about their marriage to their family members but his wife told her family about it when they were "forcefully marrying" her to some other person.

He alleged that the family members of his 28-year-old wife refused to accept their marriage, snatched their marriage certificate and confined her to their house and added that they are also threatening him with dire consequences.

He said his wife informed him a few days ago that her family members are forcefully marrying her with another person after which he lodged a complaint with the city's police commissioner and the area deputy commissioner of police.

In his petition, also alleged that ever since the police reached Sultanpur village to enquire about the matter, he has been receiving threatening calls from various people.

"After the police reached at village Sultanpur to inquire into the complaint, the petitioner (husband) is receiving threatening calls from various people who are saying that the caste 'panchayat' has derecognised their marriage and they will kill him," the petition said.

The man said he has been told that his wife would be married to someone else on June 27.

He has sought court's direction to the police to produce his wife before it and to ensure their safety and security.

"Issue appropriate order/direction ensuring safety and security of the petitioner and his wife in light of the threats to their life and liberty," the petition said.

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