Honour Killings in India: Tradition or Murder?

The solution for this issue mainly lies in the destruction of myths in the minds of individuals. It is time India at long last created in the genuine sense. Building shopping centers and expanding the way of life of the everyday person is not advancement.


Honor killing has been a matter of concern for ages in India. The tradition continues to stigmatize Indian society and activates caste and gotra culture. As per the National Crime Records Bureau, Data 2015 India reported 251 honor killings in 2015, showing a considerable ascent in killings of individuals who feel that they are acting regarding the trustworthiness of their families. The state announced 34 honor killings somewhere in the range of 2008 and 2010. However, a rising instance of honor killing in India, with over 300 cases reported from the most recent three years. For the most part, honor killings have been revealed in northern areas of India, predominantly in the provinces of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, because of individuals’ weddings without their family’s acknowledgment, and occasionally for marriage outside their caste or religion.

What is Honour Killing?

Honor killing is an act of violence, which usually refers to a murder committed by male family members against female family members, who are held dishonor upon the family. In patriarchal societies, the activities of young girls and women are firmly checked. The support of a women’s virginity and “sexual virtue” is viewed as the obligation of male family members—first her father and siblings and afterward her significant other. Casualties of honor killings ordinarily are affirmed to have occupied with “physically unethical” activities, going from transparently bantering with men who are not identified with them to having intercourse outside of marriage (regardless of whether they are the survivors of assault or rape). However, a woman can be focused on murder for various reasons, including declining to go into an arranged marriage or looking for separation or partition—even from an abusive husband. The simple doubt that a woman has acted in a way that could harm her family’s name may trigger an assault; these suppositions are primarily dependent on men’s sentiments and discernments instead of target truth. Unexpectedly, female family members frequently defend the killings and often assist with setting them up.

Albeit such violations are broadly suspected to be underreported, the United Nations Population Fund estimates that as many as 5,000 ladies are killed every year for reasons of honor. These wrongdoings occur all through the world and are not restricted to one explicit religion or faith. Nonetheless, they have rather altogether and reliably happened in different pieces of the Middle East and South Asia, with almost 50% of all honor killings happening in India and Pakistan.

In the 21st century, there was an expanded worldwide familiarity with honor killing. Nonetheless, a few nations stayed hesitant to do whatever it may take to condemn it adequately. In the somewhat extraordinary occasion that a man was indicted for the killing, the resulting preliminary would frequently zero in on the women’s supposed conduct instead of the viciousness submitted against her. At the point when a man was seen as blameworthy, the litigant could guarantee that the wrongdoing had been carried out to re-establish soiled family honor and request the court for a diminished sentence. In India, for instance, the public authority instituted strict penalties for brutality against women during the 1980s.

Nonetheless, honor killings dependent on intercaste and interreligious relationships kept on occurring in provincial regions. They were to a great extent unreported to police on account of immediate or aberrant help among village residents. Such killings were frequently administered as accidents when reported. A woman beaten, consumed, choked, shot, or cut to death could be distributed as suicide, regardless of whether there were various injuries, and there was no chance the lady might have committed suicide.

Provisions in Indian laws

The Indian legislation appears to have at long last awoken to this issue after it has come into the spotlight and individuals oppose such cruelty. At long last, after the killings, as per the home minister P Chidambaram, the UPA drove focal Government proposed to correct the Indian Penal Code, and make Honour Killing an ‘unmistakable offense’; albeit how that will have any effect on the current condition should be examined as honor killing adds up to kill which is guilty under the law.

In addition to this, the idea of the wrongdoing makes it challenging to follow the person in question. This is because a vast mob is typically sent after the couple to be pelted by stones and killed. Consequently, no definite blamed can be found. The predominance appreciated by the khap panchayat in the village and its tension on the police enables them to work appropriately and carry on the examination. The more significant part of the cases is not recorded with the police and are quieted by the family and the panchayat. The Government has likewise made recommendations to repudiate the 30 days notice period and needed under the Special Marriage Act for between local area marriages because families abuse that time to find, kill, and persuasively separate couples.

Punishments under IPC (Indian Penal Code)

Genuine Penalties under Indian Penal Code:

  • Sections 299–304: Penalizes any individual blameworthy of murder and punishable crime not adding up to kill. The murder punishment is life detainment or passing and a fine. The sentence for non-murder chargeable manslaughter is life detainment or detainment for as long as ten years and a fine.
  • Section 307: Penalizes take steps to kill for as long as ten years of detainment and a fine. On the off chance that an individual gets harmed, the discipline can reach out to life in jail.
  • Section 308: Penalizes endeavor to submit punishable crime by detainment for as long as three years or with a fine or with both. On the off chance that it causes injury, the individual will be detained or fined for as long as seven years, or both.
  • Section 120A and 120B: Penalize whoever is a member in criminal connivance.
  • Sections 107–116: Penalizes individuals for abetting murders, including murder and blameable crime.
  • Section 34 and 35: Penalizes a few men criminal demonstrations on the side of standard expectation.

Reforms suggested

  • Prevention of Crimes in the Name of ‘Honour’ and Tradition Bill, 2010–In a new judgment, Supreme Court decided that obstruction in a grown-up couple’s marriage choice is illegal for guardians or Khap Panchayats. The most recent judgment reverberates the Supreme Court’s 2010 request to act against the local Government’s honor killing. Wrongdoing decreases for the sake of the ‘Honour’ and Tradition Act, 2010 was the Government’s reaction.
  • Enactment of a complete, independent law–Equal disciplines to hoodlums, plotters, and provocateurs. The current arrangements in the IPC are deficient in managing honor killing expressed by the arranging commission of ladies and kid’s privileges in the twelfth five-year plan. The board has suggested any open applause or adores any provocation and killing for the sake of honor will be rebuffed—interest for independent law to act against such monstrosity of wrongdoing.
  • Proposal to revise the Indian Penal Code and rein in the khap panchayats (station-based extra-sacred bodies).
  • A correction to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 prohibiting same gotra marriage.
  • The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honor and Tradition Bill, 2019, was passed by a voice vote. Parliamentary undertakings serve Shanti Dhariwal presented the bill in the House last week. Responding to the bill banter, Dhariwal said IPC and CrPc parts were not adequate to manage these circumstances, so the account was transferred. “It has been carried out so that individuals beat the restricted mindset.” He said that 71 instances of unlawful diktat conceded by ‘Khap Panchayats’ (rank gatherings going about as fake courts) had been enlisted in the state during the most recent five years, and ten instances of honor killing have occurred in which four men and eight ladies have been killed.

Punishment and discipline

Demise Sentenced or detainment of life to blamed indicted for honor killing and punishment reach out to Rs 5 lakh. If there should arise an occurrence of grievous hurt, discipline will be from 10 years detainment for existence with a fine of Rs 3lakh and sometimes 3-5 years imprisoned with fine up to 2 lakhs in hurt or wounds.


The solution for this issue mainly lies in the destruction of myths in the minds of individuals. They should be taught with the arrangements given in the Hindu Marriage Act, and what sorts of relationships are viewed as invalid. Since the idea of Gotras and Sapindas is not the same as one another, it ought to be disclosed to them.

Khap Panchayats should finally be torn out of the entirety of its force with the goal that it cannot wrongly impact the gullible individuals and invite them to submit such cruel demonstrations.  It is time India at long last created in the genuine sense. Building shopping centers and expanding the way of life of the everyday person is not advancement. Cases, for example, show that the more significant part of the Indians leads lives inside the solid braces of the rank framework, and even today, young people cannot settle on choices regarding their own lives. To see that even today, individuals indiscriminately carry out such boorish wrongdoings and consider it a demonstration of purifying the tainted shows that India has genuinely not modernized. Advancement must be from the base, the center. Or, more than likely it is simply an empty wooden construction eaten within by the termites that, in the end, comes slamming down.


Chaturvedi, Parul. “Honour killings in India and need for urgent reforms and new laws”. Accessed on 12th July 2021.


N. Singh, Raghu. “Honour Killing”. Accessed on 11th July 2021


Shraddha Rajbhar is a first-year student pursuing a bachelor's degree in Economics from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. She has a keen interest in Economic Affairs and Management and her hobbies are baking, playing tabla, and painting and she is always looking up to explore and learn new things.

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