SC Raises Questions Over Female Genital Mutilation

Team SoOLEGAL 10 Jul 2018 5:45pm

SC Raises Questions Over Female Genital Mutilation

While hearing a plea seeking a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM), the Supreme Court on Monday questioned the practice of FGM prevalent in the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, saying that it violates the bodily “integrity” of a girl child.

The petition filed by advocate Sunita Tiwari came for hearing before the Supreme Court bench, comprising of Chief Justice and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.

Even the Centre sought a ban on the practice of FGM.

Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that the practice violates fundamental rights of the girl child and most importantly, such practice has serious repercussions on their health. Therefore, the FGM needs to be banned, said Venugopal.

AG further told the bench that the practice has already been banned in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia and around 27 African countries.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi, representing the respondents (Dawoodi Bohra community), however justified the practice contending that, “It is an essential aspect of Islam and cannot be subjected to judicial scrutiny”. He further said that he could produce religious texts before the court to demonstrate that the practice of FGM has been practiced for centuries.

To this, the bench asked, “Why and how should the bodily integrity of an individual can be part of the religion and its essential practice,” the bench asked, adding the practice violated the “integrity” of a girl child’s body”.

The court further questioned Singhvi “Why should anybody else will have any control over the genitals of an individual”.

The bench scheduled the matter for the next hearing on 16 July.



Tagged: Female Genital Mutilation   Dawoodi Bohra Muslim Community   Centre   Supreme Court   Attorney General KK Venugopal  
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