Judge calls for new law to deal with honour killings Judge calls for new law to deal with honour killings - India - The Times of India CHANDIGARH: The woman judge who awarded death penalty to five for the brutal murder of Manoj and Babli, a young couple who had married in breach of gotra norms, has called for a specific legislation to curb honour killings. In her 96-page long judgment, additional district and sessions judge Vani Gopal Sharma said, "The present case is a classic example and reflects a long standing tradition of oppression against women. It has to be curbed by legislation categorizing such honour killing as a separate offence, giving a clear message to the public." She wondered how a progressive society could allow such action in the name of community honour. Quoting a judgment of the SC, the judge said, "The present case does fall within the category of rarest of rare cases, not because such murders commonly take place, but because such killings shock the collective conscience of society." The observations of the judge come in the wake of Union home minister P Chidambaram saying there is need to amend CrPC and IPC in cases of honour crimes. NGOs too have been demanding an amendment to the law to handle the peculiar nature of honour crime where witnesses and evidence are very difficult to find. In her ruling, judge Sharma also tried to highlight the plight of the murdered girl’s mother, Ompati (50), and asked the media why they didn’t reach out to the widow who had lost her husband merely two years before the killings. "I am unable to resist the temptation of mentioning that...the mother of the victim, Babli, has been completely forgotten. She must have suffered silently throughout the trial," the judge said. Like Chandrapati, the widowed mother of the murdered boy Manoj, Ompati was also mother of four children. While the pain and suffering of Chandrapati had been the focus of media reports, Omwati was largely ignored during the entire trial. With her elder son, Suresh, on death row for killing his sister, Ompati has been left with a 14-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter. In his prayer for mercy, Suresh told the court that his mother remains ill and is unable to perform routine chores work and added that he was the only bread-winner of the family. Understanding her pain, the judge observed, "She (Ompati) is a woman who did not appear even once during the course of the trial. She was never asked by the media as to what she went through while her own daughter was killed by her relatives. Did she want that fate for her daughter or was she a silent spectator...?" For the record, TOI did try to meet Ompati after the murder of the couple in 2007 but the villagers did not permit it. Even on Wednesday, a TOI photo journalist, disguised as a scholar, made an unsuccessful attempt to meet Ompati but two youths sitting in the house turned violent and asked him to leave immediately.