India's top court is warning that those who carry out honor killings could face the death penalty.

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal Monday from a man convicted of strangling his daughter, who reportedly left her husband and became involved with a family member.

In their judgement, justices wrote that "honor killings, for whatever reason, come within the category of rarest of rare cases deserving death."

The justices said such "barbaric, feudal" practices are a "slur" on the nation.

A recent independent study found that at least 900 honor killings occur every year in the northern Indian states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh alone.

Many of the victims are young adults who fall in love or marry against their families' wishes.  

The Supreme Court has also deemed village councils that issue decrees for honor killings illegal.  The councils often condemn couples for marrying outside their caste or religion.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.