New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday referred to a Constitution Bench a plea questioning the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) prevalent in the Dawoodi Bohra community.
The issue was referred to the Constitution Bench on the request of Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi who appeared for the community.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that they would frame the question for the consideration of the Constitution Bench.
The top court earlier in the course of the hearing of the PIL had said that the religious practices could not be cited to justify female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community, observing “a lot of girls don’t want and it can’t be imposed”.
The earlier hearing by a three-judge bench saw the Centre describing the practice of FGM amongst Dawoodi Bohras as violative of bodily integrity which is a part of right to privacy and dignity.
However, the community had defended the practice on the grounds of the freedom of religion and religious practices.
A lawyer, Sunita Tiwari, had moved a PIL challenging the practice and seeking direction to declare it illegal and unconstitutional, non-compoundable and a non-bailable offence.