Local police and district administration should initiate preventive steps to ensure khap panchayats are not held in villages to issue diktats curbing individual freedom, recommends a report submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appointed by SC to assist the court on a public interest litigation (PIL) against khap panchayats, has also called for arresting such "self-styled" decision makers if they failed to take heed of police's warnings against the "illegal" gathering.
"In cases of khap panchayat, it is very necessary for the police to take timely steps so as to prevent any physical harm to the couple. Any gathering, which instigates commission of an illegal act, is an illegal gathering. It amounts to instigation to commit a crime, which may result in death of an individual," the report stated.
Placed before a bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, the report says the district magistrate and SP should be held accountable if a khap panchayat meets and directions, including "honour killings", are issued.
It has asked the court to convert recommendations into its directions to states and union territories until Parliament enacts a law.
Ramachandran said the police must play a proactive role to protect the fundamental rights of people.