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Kerala ‘honour killing’ case (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Polity & Governance)

Source: The Hindu

 What is honour killing?
The term ‘honour killing’ is being used widely to describe the class of murders that family members commit while seeking to impose on young couples their medieval view that all marriages should be within their community.

View of Supreme Court
The Supreme Court, which has been intervening repeatedly to preserve the freedom of marital choice of individuals, once remarked that there is no ‘honour’ in ‘honour killing’. Various judgments have highlighted the need to come down on such crimes, as well as the social structures that keep such a communal outlook alive.

What is the recent case?
The judgment of the Principal Sessions Court, Kottayam, Kerala, awarding life imprisonment to 10 men involved in the abduction and murder of Kevin Joseph, a 23-year-old Dalit Christian, in May 2018, is in line with the apex court’s views. The investigation and trial into Kevin’s murder have been notably fast. Kevin was abducted by a group led by Shyanu Chacko, the principal accused and brother of Neenu, Kevin’s fianceé, just as the young man was making arrangements to have his marriage registered. The court ruled that it was an ‘honour killing’ based on Neenu’s testimony that her family was vehemently against the marriage as Kevin was a Dalit.

The police managed to drive home the guilt of the accused by digital and electronic evidence, including records showing mobile phone signal locations and CCTV footage, to confirm the time and the routes through which the accused had taken Kevin before drowning him.



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