The Supreme Court on Friday said it would not take “honour killing” lightly and sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea of a woman seeking cancellation of bail of her uncle, who had allegedly conspired in the killing of her husband last year over inter-caste marriage.
Before issuing notice to the state government and others, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant posed tough questions to advocate MS Arya, appearing for one Deepti Mishra whose husband was allegedly killed.
The bench was of the view that there were no specific allegations against her uncle in the FIR, which merely said that they opposed the marriage.
The advocate said that Deepti Mishra’s uncle Manikant Mishra and two sons were involved in the assault and there were previous incidents also, for which several complaints were registered by the victim.
The bench said, “This is an honour killing matter and we don’t take it lightly”.
It, however, said, “Should we entertain this plea merely on the ground that respondent number two (Manikant Mishra) opposed the marriage. There is no specific allegation. There are no specific allegations. FIR does not say that he was there at the time of the incident or he was the conspirator.”
The bench said that it cannot say that everyone from the family should be in jail and it has to separate the grain from the chaff.
The Supreme Court initially said that it will not interfere in it but MS Arya tried to persuade the bench and pointed out a series of incidents of threatening and assault reported by the victim just before the incident of murder.
The bench said, “Ok, we will issue notice. Notice to respondent number two (Manikant Mishra) should be served through the local police station.”
According to the plea filed by Deepti Mishra, through advocate CK Rai, the case pertains to “honour killing” wherein her husband was killed by her relatives only for the reason that he belonged to the Dhobi caste and was married to a Brahmin girl.
The Allahabad High Court had on December 17, last year granted bail to Manikant Mishra, who was the paternal uncle to Deepti Mishra and was allegedly involved in the conspiracy to kill her husband.
As per the FIR, Deepti Mishra and her husband Anish Kumar were posted as Gram Panchayat officers at Block Urawa of Gorakhpur district in the state and they solemnized registered inter-caste marriage on December 9, 2019, despite strong opposition from the family of the petitioner including Manikant Mishra.
The plea said that the name of Manikant Mishra was mentioned in the FIR by his niece and she has mentioned his name in a statement recorded under section 161 of CrpC.
“It is submitted that the name of respondent number 2 was also mentioned in the complaint filed by the deceased before the SSP, Gorakhpur, before his murder regarding the threat to kill given by Manikant Mishra on February 14, 2020,” the plea said.
It said that the petitioner’s uncle is the head of the family who has hatched the criminal conspiracy and instigated his two sons (also accused) to take active participation in the murder of the victim.
“That while granting the bail to respondent number 2, the High Court erred in not considering the fact that respondent number 2 earlier threatened the deceased for which a separate complaint had already been filed by the deceased before the murder,” the plea said. It added that out of 17 named and four unnamed accused persons, 10 accused persons are still on the run.
It said that on July 24, 2021, the husband of the petitioner Anish Kumar was brutally murdered in broad daylight and his uncle was badly injured by the accused persons and FIR was registered against the accused under various sections of IPC and SC/ST Act.