Supreme Court accepts the PILs filed by Bohra women to ban female genital mutilation
The Supreme Court was hearing PILs filed by an advocate and two by Bohra women, demanding a law against female circumcision on the ground that it violated child rights of Bohra Muslim girls. Expressing concern against the practice of female genital mutilation prevalent among Bohra Muslim community, the Supreme Court on Monday said that it violates privacy and compromises with bodily integrity. “Our genitals are as private as any other body. Why should anybody be allowed to touch the genital of a human being? Why bodily integrity should be violated and compromised?” asked justice D Y Chandrachud, a member of the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. The bench also observed that the act would be a crime under POCSO — the special law that protects minors from sexual assaults. Popularly known as ‘khatna’, female genital mutilation involves cutting off the clitoral head, which Bohras believe makes women lead a life of infidelity. It’s generally done at a young age by midwives in unhygienic conditions. The court was hearing PILs filed by an advocate and two by Bohra women, demanding a law against female circumcision on the ground that it violated child rights of Bohra Muslim girls. The petition said the circumcision causes pain during menstruation and sexual intercourse, loss of libido and even pain during urination.