A local court has directed Delhi Police Commissioner to get its specialised wing to investigate a possible "honour killing" angle in the death of a minor girl, who had married a youth from another religion without the consent of her parents.
Additional sessions judge Kamini Lau gave the directions for further probe in the case while acquitting the youth of the charges of rape and murder. The court, however, held him guilty of kidnapping his wife, who was 16-and-a-half-year-old.
It also asked police to submit its report before a chief metropolitan magistrate within three months.
"Further investigations would be required to be conducted on the issue of unnatural death of the girl particularly on the aspect of honour killing of the deceased and on the role of her parental family in the same.
"However, since the local police appears to have already made up their mind and given a clean chit to the family of the deceased despite voluminous material pointing a finger towards them, it would be desirable that the Commissioner of Police, Delhi personally intervenes in this regard and, in order to ensure that justice is done to the young girl, get the further investigations conducted through its specialised wings i.e. Homicidal Wing (Crime Branch) or any other wing sensitised for handling such investigations," the court said.
According to the police, the Badli resident had kidnapped the girl, with whom he was in love, in September 2010 and after physical relations with her, he married her.
In March 2011, after giving her poison, the youth had left the girl at her parents house and when her condition deteriorated, she was shifted by her family to a hospital where she had died, it said.
During the trial, the youth told the court the girl was a consenting party and had voluntarily eloped with him after which they married and started happily residing at his house.
He had also said that the girl's parents were against their inter-religion marriage and "it is her parents who had killed his wife only to take revenge and to save their honour in the society". The court acquitted him of rape and murder charges saying it has been established that the girl had voluntarily gone with him and married him and even her parents had admitted that she had informed them about her marriage with the youth.
The court observed that the young girl from a poor family died under mysterious circumstances apparently because she had dared to go by her heart and eloped with a man whom she loved and who belonged to a different religion.
"Sadly, nobody appears to be concerned with her tragic death. I refuse to remain a mute spectator ... by shutting my eyes to these horrendous social ills and honour crimes which are unfortunately increasing by the day," the judge said.
The court also pulled up the police for not investigating the role of the girl's parents in the case. It said the possibility that the girl's parents had deliberately given wrong history of her health to the doctor only to mislead and divert the investigations cannot be ruled out.
The girl's parents, while admitting her in the hospital, had told the doctor that she was suffering from fever for past four-five days.
"It is this behaviour of the parents of the girl of giving incorrect history, delaying her treatment, not shifting her to a speciality hospital despite the advise of the doctors at the hospital and then taking a different stand in the court to the extent that she had never come to their house which is highly suspicious, and the possibility of the girl having been poisoned by her own family and her unnatural death being on account of honour killing cannot be ruled out," it said.
The court also referred to a research which showed that in India, every year around 1,000 people, mostly women, are brutally killed by their kin on the assumption of having brought dishonour and disgrace to the family.