Manmeet Singh vs. State of Haryana and Ors.

When Manmeet Singh’s wife disappeared one day, he immediately went to the police station and named eleven people who opposed their marriage and whom he suspected might have abducted her. Her body was found three days later, and the police had done nothing in the interim.

Manmeet Singh filed this petition calling for the investigation into her death to be put into the hands of higher-ranking officers than those who were working on it at the time. The court ruled in favor of the petitioner. It ordered that high-ranking officers be assigned to investigate all deaths that are suspected to be “honour killings.” Specifically, this officer must not be below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, and the investigation would be under the direct supervision of the Senior Superintendent of Police. Additionally, it ordered that a meeting among high-ranking officers of Haryana be convened to develop acceptable protocol for the investigation and prosecution of “honour killings.”

An orderly transformation of the society could come only through the instrument of law, for the law is a potent tool of social engineering and fashions and shapes public opinions. If severe punishment to honour killings has not stopped them, if judicial approaches have not reduced their incidence and police would only stand as mute spectators, if not active collaborators, we will come to a situation of accepting these honour killings as unstoppable, that are at once, shameful and abhorrent. The society ought to understand that all the economic progress and developmental goals of what our policy makers endeavour to secure will be trashed, if we cannot respect an adult’s autonomy to choose his or her partner to be together, with or without marriage.

Paragraph 8Manmeet Singh vs. State of Haryana and Ors.2015(2)RCR(Criminal)167