Associate at Nirvighnam Legal Solutions, Lucknow
Female Genital Mutilation or “Khatna” is a child of patriarchal mindset and social prejudice toward women’s dignity. The justification behind the prevalence of such practice canvassing man’s proprietary right on their woman’s sexuality. Considering the inhumanity behind such practice, International conventions and resolutions have been passed requesting the countries to abolish FGM by passing legislation. However, unlike U.K, U.S., some African countries, India have neither any specific legislation nor any other legislation “expressly” criminalizing nor abolishing this practice. Nevertheless, it does not make the continuance of such practice in Dawoodi Bohra Community legal because the very nature of such practice has been criminalized by IPC and POCSO. Since the issue of the legality of this Practice has already reached Supreme Court of India via PIL, this article will highlight the arguments raised in favour and in against of practicing FGM in India along with Supreme Court’s attitude toward the existence of such religious practice, which allows the mutilation of minor girls, leaving behind a traumatic childhood experience. Furthermore, this article will also anticipate the legitimate reasons on the basis of which the Supreme Court might declare this barbaric practice unconstitutional in the upcoming year.
Keywords: Female Genital Mutilation, Supreme Court, Constitutional Morality, Essential religious practice, Freedom of religion, Fundamental rights, Woman’s rights, right to equality, Constitution of India