On Monday, June 14 2010, the Supreme Court refused to accept a PIL for an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act to ban same-gotra marriages, marriages within the same gotra or sub caste.
Dhananjay Mahapatra for Times of India writes:
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL seeking an amendment in the Hindu marriage Act to ban marriages within the same gotra (sub caste).
The apex court asked the petitioner to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the same.
Demanding amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act to prevent weddings within the same ‘gotra’ (sub caste), a delegation of Khap panchayats had met Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and submitted a memorandum in this regard at Chandigarh on June 10.
“Hooda maintained that in his personal capacity he felt marriages within same ‘gotra’ are not appropriate. But we did not get a categorical response on our demand that he should vigorously pursue the matter so that the Hindu Marriages Act is amended,” Mewa Singh, who led the 12-member delegation of Sarv Jatiya Sarv Khap Mahapanchayat, told reporters after the meeting at the chief minister’s residence.
Though Hooda gave a patient hearing to our demands, we were not completely satisfied, he said. He said the self-styled community council delegation has demanded the chief minister to call an all-party meeting over the issue.
“We will be meeting leaders of other parties as well on the issue. On August 1, we will be having a ‘mahapanchayat’ at Meham in which Khaps from across the country will take part,” he said.
The INLD, the main opposition in Haryana, has come out openly in support of the amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act and even asked the ruling Congress to convene a special session of the state assembly over the issue, a demand which the Khaps have been raking time and again in the recent past.
Toeing the line of caste councils which have been demanding a ban on wedlocks within the same clan, last week Hooda had said he was also against marriages within the same ‘gotra’.
“Not allowing marriages in the same gotra is part of our customs. It is not limited to any particular caste,” he had said.
Hooda’s young party colleague and MP from Kurukshetra Navin Jindal had attended a Khap congregation at Kaithal last month and promised to take up their demand for amending the Hindu Marriage Act with the party high command.