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Caste councils told to 'mind their own business'
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dealt a huge blow to caste (khap) panchayats, warning the self-styled guardians of patriarchal morality to ''mind their own business''. This came after these panchayats failed to nurture support from the government for their campaign against same-gotra (lineage) weddings. Hearing a petition filed by three persons-a former village chief, an advocate and a retired government employee, a division bench, comprising chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh, directed the caste councils to stop behaving like ''paternal figures''. The petition sought court directions for a fresh law or amending the existing Hindu Marriage Act for prohibiting weddings between girls and boys of same gotra . Doubting the motive for filing the petition, the chief justice asked the petitioners how they were bothered if couples did not follow custom but taken legal recourse to get married.

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