Female genital mutilation could 7-yr-term, SC told

The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that female genital mutilation, practised by certain communities, could be punished with up to seven years of imprisonment under the existing laws. File photo for representation

The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that female genital mutilation, practised by certain communities, could be punished with up to seven years of imprisonment under the existing laws.

Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted before a three-judge bench, presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, that the Union government has filed an affidavit stating that it could be described as an offence ranging from voluntarily causing hurt to grievous hurt, punishable under sections 319 to 326 of the Indian Penal Code.

The top law officer made the submission on a PIL filed by Sunita Tiwari contending that female genital mutilation practised in Dawoodi Bohra communities was deleterious to the health of girl children due to illegal and unhygienic surgeries performed on them during the childhood.

It has got no sanction in Quran, her petition claimed.

Advocate Anand Grover, representing the petitioner, supported the submission made by the attorney general.

He sought direction from the court to implement penal provisions as the women suffered due to it.

The court directed the serving of a copy of the petition to the counsel from Kerala and Telangana after the counsel claimed there were reports of such incidents from both the states.

The court had earlier sought a response from the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi.

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