Honour killing refers to the killing of a person by his or her family members because he is said to have brought down the image of the family by doing some wrong act such as inter-caste marriage, etc. These types of practices are more common in rural areas. Coming to the point regarding legal provisions as to honour killings in India, as such there is no special act or law related to Honour killings in India.
The provisions of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 are applied in cases of Honour Killings in India.
Honour killings come under homicide and murder and are considered as grave crimes, the offence of Honour killing is covered under various sections of The Indian Penal Code, 1860. Some of the important sections in the IPC are-
Section 300– This section talks about murder, culpable homicide is murder if it is done with the intention of causing death. So, when a person is killed because of the reason that he has brought down the honour of the family, then the ones who have killed him can be booked under section 300 of IPC, as they did that act intentionally.
Section 307 – This section talks about the attempt to murder if the accused tries to murder the person, but due to some act, the person doesn’t die and is saved, then the accused can be convicted under section 307 of IPC,1860.
Section 120A and 120B– These sections make criminal conspiracy an offence and state the punishment for this offence. If two or more persons agree and do something illegal or any legal thing by illegal means, then they are said to commit criminal conspiracy.
Section 299-304 – These sections penalize any person guilty of murder or culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The punishment under these sections for murder is life imprisonment with or without fine or with both.
Section 34 – This act states about the common intention, if two or more persons have a common intention, then any overt act done by one of them will mean that the act has been constituted by both of them and both of them will be liable for the same.
Apart from these provisions under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, The Constitution of India also guarantees several rights to its citizens and on violation of these, the sufferer can approach the Honourable courts.
Honour killings violate various Articles of the Constitution such as Article 14, 15(1) & (3), 17, 18, 19 and 21.
Article 14 – This Article states that everyone is equal and he shall not be discriminated against on any basis.
Article 15(1) and 15(3) – These articles state that no one shall be prohibited on the basis of caste, creed, gender, sex, etc.
Article 21– This article states that everyone has a right to life and it includes the right to live a life with dignity.