The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Government to consider introducing a special law to protect female inmates of institutions from sexual abuse and ensure strict action against persons incharge of these bodies who violate the trust of girls.
Hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, Justice J N Patel and Justice B R Gavai asked the Principal Secretary, Women and Child Welfare department, to file an affidavit within two weeks about the Government's stand on introducing such law.
The PIL, filed more than a decade ago, has challenged the practice of conducting hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus) on mentally challenged girls in special homes.
The state government justified the surgeries on the ground that the girls were not able to take care of their hygiene and such practice of conducting hysterectomy would enable them to lead life with dignity.
The state also argued that not a single case of alleged sexual abuse of girls in mental institutions had been reported.
However, the court disagreed with the government saying "taking away woman's right of procreation is an assault on womanhood. Who has given the state the right to mutilate them and deprive them of the gift which nature has given them"? asked the judges.