Judiciary

SC refers PIL against female genital mutilation to five-judge constitution bench

supreme court_24 sept 18-pti

Supreme Court of India

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New Delhi, Sep 24: The Supreme Court Monday referred to a five-judge constitution bench the plea challenging practice of female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

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A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud was hearing a PIL filed by a Delhi-based lawyer challenging the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) of minor girls of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community.

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Female genital mutilation is performed “illegally upon girls (between five years and before she attains puberty)” and is against the “UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which is India is a signatory”, the plea said, adding the practice caused “permanent disfiguration to the body of a girl child”.

A group of Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community members had earlier told the apex court that the female circumcision is practised by a few sects of Islam, including the Dawoodi Bohra community, and the validity of this be examined, if at all, by a larger constitution bench.

PTI

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