Supreme Court questions practice of female genital mutilation
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday orally questioned the practice of female genital mutilation of minor girls in the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community and observed “a woman does not have to live her life only for a marriage and a husband”.
FMG or ‘khatna’ is a practice prevalent among the Dawoodi Bohra religious community of Shia sect, as it is a crime and punishable offence. This practice is an age-old tradition in this community to mark the arrival of womanhood.
At the outset the Chief Justice Dipak Misra, heading a three judge Bench observed that women are not chattels and their subjugation to please their husbands must pass the test of constitutional morality and right to privacy.
The Bench, which also included justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, was hearing a PIL filed last year by an Advocate Sunita Tihar seeking a ban on Female Genital Mutilation.
The CJI observed that in the guise of FMG or circumcision as no one can use the religious practices to touch a female’s body and violate integrity of her body part.