Taking note of reports on alleged honour killings backed by khap panchayats (community councils), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday said no one can take the law in his hands in the name of tradition.
"The commission is of the view that no one has the right to take the law in his hand by violating an individual's right to life in the name of tradition," a statement said.
Speaking on the issue of marriage within same gotra or ancestral lineage, which the khap panchayats staunchly oppose, the commission said: "The issue of amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act to ban same gotra marriages is a matter of wide debate."
"Discussing amendment to the act has to be in view of the national perspective on the social, cultural and traditional aspects, as well as an individual's right to liberty as enshrined in the constitution," it added.
K.S. Money, secretary general of the NHRC, had earlier said that the term "honour killing" should be changed to "dishonourable killing".
"These (honour) killings are not legal. And the fact of the matter is that states have failed to protect human rights," he said.