Row Over 'Khap' Diktat: SC Asks Police to Produce Youth

Published: 15th September 2015 07:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2015 07:44 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today asked Uttar Pradesh police to produce tomorrow a dalit youth, whose two sisters were allegedly ordered to be raped and paraded naked by a 'khap panchayat' to suffer punishment for his affair with an upper-caste girl and eloping with her.   

A bench of justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre, which heard the matter in the chamber, sought the presence of the youth before it tomorrow afternoon. The youth was recently arrested in connection with a case lodged under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.    

Yesterday, the court had asked Vivek Singh, counsel for the girl, to bring her and other family members before it today. The brother of the girl had recently allegedly eloped with an upper-caste girl, a habeas corpus petition said.           

The girl, who hails from Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh, has claimed that she had to flee her village due to atrocities by members of Jat community and the UP Police. She and her family cannot return to her village and have been rendered homeless, she had said.          

"The Petitioner has been condemned by the Khap Panchayat to be raped and paraded naked because her brother fell in love and eloped with her friend and neighbour who belongs to the dominant caste of Jat," her plea said. A 'khap panchayat' is a body of village elders, mainly in north India, which have emerged as quasi-judicial bodies that pronounce harsh punishments based on age-old regressive customs.       

The plea further contended that the brother's affair had invited the wrath of police and Jat community as a consequence of which her family members were abducted and tortured by the police.           

"My brother has also been falsely implicated by the police in a NDPS case and due to harassment and immense pressure from the girl's family, he and his wife surrendered before Delhi Police at Mehrauli police station," it said.        

The girl has also stated that her father had lodged a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Scheduled Castes about the harassment being meted out to her by police and 'khap panchayat'.

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