A month after the country’s top court said that honour killing should be punished with death, an Uttar Pradesh court on Wednesday awarded capital punishment to 10 accused in a three-year-old case of honour killing.
Udai Pal Singh, alias Bhura, (30) of Pilakhtara village in Etah district, some 350km from here, eloped with Vijaya (22) of the same village on October 30, 2008. Fifteen days later, on November 13, 2008, Vijaya’s father, Ramesh Pal, and his associates traced the couple and Singh’s brother Satyabhan Singh to the neighbouring Balukhera village.
They dragged the three, tortured them and then unloaded dozens of bullets into them. Their faces were mutilated beyond recognition — all in full public view, ignoring pleas of villagers for mercy.
Satyabhan’s wife, Laxmi, named 13 people in her police complaint.
The counsel for the accused, BD Goyal, pleaded that even if the crime was related to honour killing, it didn’t qualify as a ‘rarest of rare’ case. The prosecution, however, argued for death sentence.
Awarding death to 10 of the 12 accused, Etah additional sessions judge Rajendra Babu Sharma relied on the May 9 Supreme Court observation that honour killings came in the category of ‘rarest of rare’ cases, and were barbaric, feudal and a slur on the country. “All persons who are planning to perpetrate honour killings should know that the gallows await them,” the court had said.