The Rajasthan Assembly on August 5, 2019, passed a Bill to provide for death penalty for hate crimes against couples in the name of honour and tradition.
Following the clearance of the Bill, the state became the first state in India to have a special law to deal with hate crime against couples.
The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019, was introduced in the Assembly on July 30, 2019, by Law Minister Shanti Dhariwal.
The Bill said a special law for such hate crimes would act as a deterrent as it has severe punishment for such acts of violence and criminal intimidation and will prevent caste and community assemblies that take place to condemn such marriages.
Under the new law, “whoever causes death of a couple or either of them on the basis that marriage of such couple has dishonoured, or brought disrepute to the caste, community or family shall be punished with death, or with imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees.”
In case of grievous hurt to the couple or either of them, the law prescribes rigorous imprisonment for 10 years which may be extended to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3 lakh. Whereas, in case of simple hurt, the punishment will be jail for three to five years and a fine of Rs 2 lakh.
For participating in a gathering to condemn a marriage claiming it has dishonoured the caste or community or tradition or brought disrepute, person(s) can be sent to jail for six months to five years and fined Rs 1 lakh. The law empowers the sub-divisional magistrate or district magistrate to prevent such assemblies and take steps to ensure safety of the couple.
The new law also covers threat to the couple by prescribing punishment of three to five years and a fine of Rs 2 lakh. If threat is to cause death or grievous hurt, the imprisonment will be of seven years, the Bill says.
(Source Hindustan Times)