SC stresses adverse impact of female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation leaves permanent emotional and mental scars in a young girl, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud observed on Monday.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said the Constitution does not allow a person to cause injury to another.

“You think in favour of husbands, girls should go through this practice?” Chief Justice Misra asked senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, appearing for 70,000 Bohra Muslim women who are in favour of the practice.

Mr. Singhvi argued that the practice was essential to religion and has continued since the 10th century.

By the Constitution

Justice Chandrachud responded that the court has to test it in the light of constitutional morality. Just because something is “essential”, does not mean it is above constitutional morality, he said.

“If we do not go by the Constitution, then morality is left to the mob. The people on the streets will say what is moral and what is immoral,” he added.

The court is hearing a PIL filed by advocate Sunita Tiwari to ban female genital mutilation practised by some communities as a religious practice

Senior advocate Indira Jaising submitted that the practice cannot be considered “essential” in religion as it can be brought under the ambit of the POCSO Act.

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