2 Sep 2021 3:59 AM GMT
Observing that there has been a flagrant violation of Supreme Court directions, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued a slew of directions to the State Governments of Punjab and Haryana and UT of Chandigarh, it's Police authorities and SLSAs for dealing with honour killing cases in view of the protection being given to the couples facing threat from their families.Justice Arun...
Observing that there has been a flagrant violation of Supreme Court directions, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued a slew of directions to the State Governments of Punjab and Haryana and UT of Chandigarh, it's Police authorities and SLSAs for dealing with honour killing cases in view of the protection being given to the couples facing threat from their families.
Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi perused the reports and affidavit filed by the DGPs of the concerned State Governments and issued directions to resolve the issues of delay or laxity in proper investigation, collection of evidence and delay in conclusion of trial in cases pertaining to incidents of honour killing.
The Court directed the State Governments to appoint committees consisting of Home Secretary, Finance Secretary, Additional Director General of Police, Legal Remembrancer and Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authorities as the State Level within one month to examine the issues of compliance of directions given by the Apex Court as well as the High Court.
The Court also directed that the committees shall submit their reports with their recommendations within three months which shall be considered by the States in order to take a policy action for implementing the recommendations in order to give effect to the directions.
"The Committee shall also periodically monitor the issue of compliance with such directions in the States of Punjab and Haryana and U.T. Chandigarh," the Court directed.
Special Cell In Each District, Helpline For Protection Of Couples
The Court went ahead to direct the DGPs of the States to create a Special Cell in each Districts responsible for collecting and maintaining information and preparing data base of couples who approached the High Court or the District Courts seeking protection.
The Court also directed that such cells shall call for reports regarding assessment of threat perception to the couples and to take appropriate action in the matters.
A 24 your helpline is also directed to be set up for receiving and registering request for protection of couples and also to coordinate with the concerned police officers for providing protection to them.
The Court also directed the DGPs to issue instructions to Commissioners of Police or Superintendents of Police for ensuring that FIR is immediately registered in case of reporting of any violence against inter caste or inter religion marriage or honour killing.
The Court added that such officer must ensure that intimation is simultaneously given to the concerned Deputy Superintendent of Police who shall ensure that effective investigation of the crime is done within a period of 60 to 90 days.
"Additionally, immediate steps are taken to provide security to the couple/family and, if necessary, to remove them to a safe house within the same district or elsewhere keeping in mind their safety and threat perception," the Court added.
Expeditious Disposal Of Trials
The Court directed the Sessions Judges in the States to ensure that cases of Honour Killing are assigned to the designated Court or Fast Track Court or the jurisdictional court.
The Court also directed such courts to ensure that cases are expeditiously disposed of preferably within a period of six months as per the directions laid down in Shakti Vahini case.
The Court added:
- In case of non-appearance of any of the witnesses, the concerned Court shall take appropriate action against the concerned witness absenting without any lawful excuse by filing complaint under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or taking proceedings under Section 350 of the Cr.P.C. against him.
- In cases where the trial is not concluded within the period of six months, the concerned Court shall submit the progress report to this Court seeking extension of time specifically mentioning the period within which the trial is likely to be concluded.
Scheme For Legal Aid To Couples, Compensation To Victims
The Court further directed the SLSAs to prepare a scheme for providing legal aid to couples seeking protection and to the complainant for representing couples in cases of violence against inter caste/inter religion marriage and honour killings.
Such SLSAs are also directed to present such case before the trial Court for award of compensation to the victims of violence and dependents of victims of honour killings against accused in the eventuality of their conviction.
"..to further strengthen through para legal volunteers, Anganwadi Workers, National Social Service Volunteers, Saksham Yuva, Students of Law Colleges and School/College Legal Literacy Clubs their public awareness programmes against the social evils of violence against inter caste/inter religion marriages and honour killing," the Court added.
The High Court was adjudicating a case concerning honour killing and observed that it was a glaring example showing how the directions given by Supreme Court were flouted.
"..how the necessity of protection to the couple marrying against the wishes of their family members is ignored, how the police fails to take prompt action to rescue the couple on information being given to it, how the police tries to understate the offences, delay the investigation, shield the accused by its inaction and still claim that there was no laxity or delay in investigation of the case by it and how the higher police officers, who do not even know that the case falls in the category of honour killing and they are required to follow the directions given by Hon'ble Supreme Court, look the other way round and ignore the deficiencies surfacing during investigation with almost culpable failure to appropriately supervise/monitor the investigation and take appropriate remedial action to discharge their statutory obligations," it added.
Title: Ravi Kumar v. State of Haryana and others
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