New Delhi, July 31: The Supreme Court on Monday made strongly-worded observations on the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.
Media reported that the apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said 'women do not live only for marriage and their husbands' and that 'subjugation to a husband will not pass the test of constitutionality'.
The Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shia subsect which practices FGM, usually names the ‘custom’ Khatna or Khafz, which involves the total or partial removal of the clitoral hood. In the name of the practice, young girls aged six and seven are cut up regularly by midwives and doctors, media reported.
The practice of female genital cutting resulted in "serious violations of basic fundamental rights of the victims who in these cases are minors," the plea said.
The FGM 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".