No parallel courts: Rajasthan HC to caste panchayats

  • Suresh Vyas, Hindustan Times, Jodhpur
  • Updated: Oct 25, 2013 12:59 IST

A Rajasthan high court bench on Thursday reprimanded around half a dozen members of a Sirohi-based caste panchayat and ordered them not to conduct parallel courts.

Justice Kanwaljeet Singh Ahluwalia, while hearing the anticipatory bail filed by the members of the caste panchyat, summoned them to appear in court personally and apologise to the family against whom they had ruled a case.

A criminal complaint in a love marriage case was registered against them in Sheoganj police station of Sirohi district in Jodhpur region on September 10.

Uda Ram, a resident of Rohida village, said his son Narayan had tied the knot with a married woman of the same caste according to Arya Samaj custom. The caste panchayat termed this act as “anti-society” and not only demanded penalty of R5.14 lakh from the groom’s family members, but also ostracised them.

However, even after the money was given to the caste panchayat members and they conducted a court in Ram’s house on June 14, they wanted his family “shunned”.

The panchayat members named in the FIR are Rawta Ram, 70; Mana Ram, 62; Prabhu Ram, 72; Rama Ram, 75; Soda Ram, 70 and Babra Ram, 71.

All of them approached the high court for anticipatory bail, but justice Ahluwalia adjourned the hearing for a day on Wednesday and asked them to appear in court personally to say sorry to the aggrieved family.

Although the complainant did not appear in court, the accused tendered their apology and assured the judge that they would not hold any caste court in future.

“The court while considering the old age of the accused and their assurance that they won’t conduct caste courts in future granted them anticipatory bail,” said Mahipal Vishnoi, government advocate.

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