Murdering somebody for adopting a dress code "unacceptable" to their caste or community may come under the ambit of honour killings if a Group of Ministers set up to look into the scourge adopts a proposal in this regard.
This is one of the proposed amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Evidence Act, 1872 and Special Marriages Act, 1954 being discussed by the Group of Ministers set up amid divergent views on tackling honour killings, government sources told the news agency.
Among other proposals, the "revised" draft of Indian Penal Code and Certain Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 plans to bring murders for bringing "dishonour" to caste or family through marriages under the ambit of honour killings.
According to the "revised bill" in circulation, the government is planning to bring amendments to sections 300 (committing an intentional act which causes death) and 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of IPC and Section 105 of the Indian Evidence Act.
In section 300 of IPC, the government is planning to introduce honour killings as the fifth clause.
The proposed fifth clause says, "if it is done by any person or persons acting in concert with, or at the behest of, a member of the family or a member of a body or group of the caste or clan or community or caste panchayat (by whatever name called) in the belief that the victim has brought dishonour or perceived to have brought dishonour upon the family or caste or clan or community or caste panchayats."
In the explanations given for the clause, the proposal says that "dishonour" and "perceived to have brought dishonour" will include "acts of any person adopting a dress code which is unacceptable to his or her family or caste or clan or community or caste panchayat".
The murders for choosing to marry within or outside the 'gotra' (sub-caste) or caste or clan or community against the wishes of one's family or caste or clan or community will also come under the ambit of the honour killings, if the proposals pass through the test in Parliament.
Killing somebody for engaging in sexual relations which are unacceptable to the community or caste panchayat or family also comes under it, the draft says.
Externment of a person in the belief that he or she has brought dishonour will also be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both, the draft said.
On who all come under the ambit of honour killings, the draft suggest that all members of a body or group of caste or clan or community or caste panchayat, ordering or abetting the commission of murder will be deemed guilty of having committed the murder.