Female Genital Mutilation Violates Women’s Right to Privacy: SC

The Supreme Court, while hearing the petition, said women don’t live their lives just for their marriages. 

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Female Genital Mutilation Violates Women’s Right to Privacy: SC
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The Supreme Court of India on Monday, 30 July, said the age-old practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) violated the right to privacy of women, adding that women don't live their lives just for their marriages and husbands.

The Centre supported a petition, in the apex court, seeking a ban on the practice among the members of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a sub-sect of the Shia denomination.


“A woman may have several other obligations too,” the court said.

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said subjugation of women to their husbands won’t pass the test of constitutionality, News18 reported.

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi had, during an earlier hearing, demanded the matter be referred to a constitutional bench, for it involved the issue of an essential practice in the religion. He had also said that the FGM was a customary practice and therefore the court shouldn't intervene in the area.

Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, said the Centre supported the ban, adding that the practice violates the fundamental rights of women, CNN-News18 reported.

Venugopal added that the practice was barbaric and caused trauma among young women, urging the apex court to ban it.

Male and female circumcision (called khatna and khafz respectively) are religious rites that have been practiced by Dawoodi Bohras throughout history. Religious books, written over a thousand years ago, specify the requirements for both males and females as acts of religious purity.

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