Honour killing-related crimes to invite serious consequence under law: Odisha Home Dept

Bhubaneswar: In a major development, the Odisha Home Department has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to prevent incidents relating to honour killing stating that such crimes would invite serious consequence under the law.

As per the directions of Apex Court on the preventive and remedial measures of honour killing, the department stated that steps would be taken to identify districts, sub-divisions and villages which are prone to honour killing or assembly of khap panchayats (any caste or community in villages/panchayats that at times act as quasi-judicial bodies and pronounce harsh punishments based on regressive and age old customs and traditions).

The Superintendents of Police (SPs) have been directed to identify sub-divisions and villages and ensure that the officers in-charge of the police stations in these areas are extra cautious regarding any incidents of inter-caste and inter-religious marriage in their jurisdiction.

“Information about any proposed gathering of Khap Panchayats received by any police officer shall immediately be shared with superior officers and District Superintendents of Police who shall take steps to prevent such gatherings/meeting by interacting with the members concerned. He should also take measures to deploy adequate police force in the area and direct the officer in charge of the area concerned to remain vigilant,” the notification said.

This apart, the event must be video shot in order to facilitate suitable action by the law enforcing machinery as per law, it said.

Moreover, the IIC of concerned police station shall forthwith lodge FIR and take prompt action under appropriate provisions of law under direct and personal supervision of DSP/SP/DCP leading investigation of the case to its logical end.

The department further warned that in spite of the measures, if such a meeting takes place, a senior Police Officer (Superintendent of Police/ Deputy Superintendent of Police) will remain present and see that no such decision is taken which may or is likely to cause any harm to the couple or members of their family. The report on this behalf shall be submitted by the SP/DSP to the District Magistrate/Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the District for issuing orders to take preventive steps under section 144 and 151 CrPC.

“Departmental action shall be taken against the concerned officers for deliberate negligence, misconduct and failure to observe the aforesaid directions as per service rules which shall be finalised within a period not exceeding six months,” the notification read.

Further, the trial of honour killing cases shall be undertaken by designated Court/Fast Track Court on day to day basis and to be concluded preferably within six months from the date of taking cognizance of the offence.

The NIC-Coordinator of Home Department has also been requested to make necessary inclusion in the official website of the department that crime relating to honour killing would invite serious consequence under the law.

It may be noted that the Supreme Court had directed all the State Governments to elaborate the preventive, remedial and punitive measures required to be implemented to address the issues related to honour killing.

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