Humanitarian approach by Centre urging Supreme Court to issue direction to curb Female Genital Mutilation
In the PIL seeking a ban on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Attorney General KK Venugopal forced before the bench of Supreme Court for the necessity for the court to step in and issue direction.
The PIL was filed by Advocate Sunita Tiwari stating that the practice of khatna, as performed on every girl child within the Dawoodi Bohra religious community, does not have any reference in the Quran and is carried out without any medical reason and expressed anguish over the “the atrocity, bodily pain, in-humanness and mental torture faced by the girls and women of Dawoodi Bohra community for their entire life due to the unhygienic and illegal surgeries performed on their person for non-medical reasons during their childhood and prayed that the practice be declared as a cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable offence.
The Centre filed its counter Affidavit before the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AM Khanwilkar that it is an offence under Indian Penal Code mentioned from Section 319 to 326 i.e. ‘Voluntarily causing hurt’ and ‘Grievous hurt’.
He further contended that the Maharashtra government has passed the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016 to prevent social boycott of the people for not following norms made by caste panchayat or any other community and mes it an offence punishable with imprisonment of seven years and fine upto Rs. 5 lakh.
Senior Counsel Anand Grover backing the Centre informed that state of Kerala and Telangana have also initiated an investigation.
The Apex Court issued a notice to the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and Rajasthan and listed the matter for final disposal in the month of July.