Constitutionality of Female Genital Mutilation in India​​

Rishika Radhakrishnan
University School of Law and Legal Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, India.

Volume IV, Issue I, 2021

Female Genital Mutilation involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is a traditional practice carried out on young girls, who are usually under the age of 15. This practice has been shown to have severe health complications for women, and thus, is a violation of the human rights of girls and women. In India, the practice is reported to have been performed in the Dawoodi Bohra community. Khafd, as it is identified in the community, is said to be a religious rite that has been in practice for hundreds of years.  This paper aims to analyse the practice of FGM from the jurisprudence of Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution through a catena of judgments from the 1950s to the latest case of the Indian Young Lawyers’ Association and Ors. v. State of Kerala (Sabarimala Case) and examine the essentiality of FGM as a religious practice.

Keywords: Female Genital Mutilation, Article 25, Health, Essential Religious Practice, Human Rights.