SC Seeks Reply From Centre, 4 States on Female Genital Mutilation
The Supreme Court on Monday sought the views on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or ‘khatna’ from the Centre and four state governments – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, FGM is practiced by the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims of the Shia community that resides in large numbers in states mentioned above. It is the cutting of the clitoral head in young girls, and is generally done at an early age by midwives in highly unhygienic conditions.
A PIL filed by advocate Sunita Tiwari seeking a ban on the practice was heard by the SC bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar.
In her petition, Tiwari said that there should be a ban on the practice of FGM as it violates child and human rights.
The petition said:
The practice of ‘Khatna’ or ‘FGM’ or ‘Khafd’ also amounts to causing inequality between the sexes and constitutes discrimination against women. Since it is carried out on minors, it amounts to serious violation of the rights of children as even minors have a right of security of person, right to privacy, bodily integrity and the freedom from cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.
It further added that it is against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which is India is a signatory, and causes a permanent disfiguration in the body of the female child.
The plea also argued that the practice was carried out without any medical reason, and that there was no reference of the practice in the Quran.
No time limit has been set by the apex court for the replies.
(With inputs from PTI)