Sessions judge RK Sondhi relied on the famous judgment of justice Markandey Katju in the Bhagwan Dass vs State of Delhi case to award death penalty to father Shaukeen and uncle Salim for killing 15-year-old Tahira.
Sondhi commented that after going through the principles laid down in Bhagwan Dass’ case, it comes out that Apex Court had held that “once it is proved that the crime involved in murder of such nature is ‘honour killing’, for whatever reasons, comes within the category of rarest of rare cases deserving death penalty”.
“Thus Hon’ble Apex Court has already considered pros and cons of the case, which involves crime of honour killing and held that in such cases, the trial court has no discretion but to grant death penalty,” says Sondhi in his judgment.
He commented that Tahira was killed merely on “ill-founded apprehensions” of loss to “family reputation in society on account of love affair of the deceased” with a person, who was already engaged with the elder daughter of Shaukeen and both convicts tried to “create false evidence” to screen themselves.
“In our opinion honour killings, for whatever reason, come within the category of rarest of rare cases deserving death punishment. It is time to stamp out these barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on our nation.
This is necessary as a deterrent for such outrageous, uncivilised behaviour. All persons who are planning to perpetrate ‘honour’ killings should know that the gallows await them,” Justice Katju had said in Bhagwan Dass case where a father had killed her daughter over adultery. He had also commented that there is nothing ‘honourable’ in ‘honour’ killings, and they were nothing but barbaric and brutal murders by bigoted, persons with feudal minds.