Khaps oppose SC ruling, say can’t allow marriages in same ‘gotra’
Khap leaders said they would hold a panchayat to discuss the issue find out a way to deal with the situation.lucknow Updated: Mar 27, 2018 16:31 IST
Heads of khaps on Tuesday expressed their opposition to the Supreme Court order banning khap interference in the marriage of two consenting adults, saying they cannot allow marriages within same gotras or villages.
The Supreme Court had earlier in the day termed interference by khap panchayats in marriages of adults as “absolutely illegal” and laid down guidelines to prevent such intrusions.
However, khap leaders are standing their ground.
“We can’t accept marriages in same ‘gotra’ or village as it is a centuries-old tradition started by our forefathers,” secretary of Sarv Khap Panchayat Subhash Baliyan said.
“We will hold a panchayat to discuss the issue find out a way to deal with the situation in view of the Supreme Court guidelines,” he said.
Rajendra Malik of Malik Khap said the apex court should have examined the advantages and disadvantages of such marriages before issuing guidelines.
“It’s a tradition which was started for the good of the society. We have been following it for centuries. How can we go against it?” asked Malik.
Head of Latiyan Khap, Virendra Latiyan said they were ready to face the consequences but would not accept marriages in the same ‘gotra’ or village.
“Even the members of different ‘gotra’ can’t marry in the same village though it is acceptable if they belong to different villages,” Latiyan said.
Khaps are community groups — usually comprising elderly men from the Jat community — in northern parts of India which act as quasi-judicial bodies and pronounce directives to members on several issues, including marriage, dowry, foeticide and education of children, based on age-old customs.
Khaps are against marriages within the same ‘gotra’ and village, and in such cases, issue decrees of social boycott of families involved or penalise them in different ways.
Many times, such disapprovals by the khaps have led to honour killings of the people who defy the diktats. This prompted an NGO to move the top court in 2010.