The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019 was passed by a voice vote.The bill was introduced in the House last week by parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal.
Replying to the debate on the bill, Dhariwal said that sections of IPC and CrPc were not adequate in dealing with such cases so the bill was moved. "It has been introduced so that people overcome the narrow mindset."
He said that in the last five years in the state, 71 cases of illegal diktat given by 'Khap Panchayats' (caste councils which function like kangaroo courts) were registered and 10 cases of honour killing occurred in which four men and eight women were killed.
"The bill is directionless," said the deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore.
Rathore and BJP legislator Madan Dilawar raised an objection to the term 'sangotra' (same blood) used in the Bill and said that the government was pushing the society into darkness.Dhariwal said he has already moved a resolution to delete the word 'sangotra' from the bill.However, BJP legislators kept opposing the bill, following which the speaker ruled for a voice vote.
If the couple or either of them is grievously hurt, the punishment will be from 10 years rigorous imprisonment to imprisonment for life and with fine of maximum Rs 3 lakh, whereas the punishment will be three to five years imprisonment with fine which may extend to Rs 2 lakh in case of simple injuries, it says.
According to the bill, Sub Divisional Magistrate or the District Magistrate shall receive any request or information from any person or persons seeking protection from any unlawful assembly,"There has been a spurt in illegal intimidation by self-appointed bodies for bringing pressure against 'sagotra' marriages and inter-caste, inter-community and inter-religious marriages between two consenting adults in the name of vindicating the honour of the family, caste or community," says the objective of the bill.
"Although, such intimidation or acts of violence constitute offences under the Indian Penal Code, yet, it is necessary to prevent assemblies which take place to condemn such alliances as also to punish such acts of violence and criminal intimidation severely," it adds.