SC refers plea against female genital mutilation to Constitution bench

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday referred the petition seeking a ban on the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) to a five-judge Constitution bench.

“We are referring the case to a five-judge Constitution bench,” a three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and also comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud observed.

The petitioner, Sunita Tiwari had earlier sought a direction to the respondents to implement the resolutions passed in December 2012, by the United Nations General Assembly banning female genital mutilation or Khatna of minor girls in the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, in which India is a signatory.

She also sought a direction to put a complete ban on the illegal and inhuman practices of FGM as the same was violating the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 21 and 39 of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) of the Constitution of India.