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The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud on Monday (August 21) agreed to review suggestions from the amicus curie, based on decisions of several high courts on the contentious issue of the constitutional validity of khap panchayats. The bench will also take up the issue of honour killings that some khap panchayats have ordered in the past.

The petition—presented by Shakti Vahini—is specific in deciding the legal validity and their adjudicating power on honour killings in Haryana and western UP.

On Monday, the counsel appearing for the petitioners asserted that the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 is well in frame, “but we don’t have effective implementation guidelines.” In effect, therefore, the Act is toothless.

Senior advocate Pinki Anand, appearing for the Union of India, submitted that a honour killing bill is pending before Parliament.

In August 2010, the legal cell of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) headed by Kirti Singh, consulted many women’s organisations and individuals and came up with a draft bill, called ‘The Prevention of Crimes in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill’.

On Monday, the amicus curie submitted certain suggestions to the apex court on the basis of certain decisions of various high courts. His prayer for two weeks to update and amend the suggestions in the draft form was granted by the court.

 —India Legal Bureau

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