The Supreme Court today issued a notice to Centre on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an advocate seeking a complete ban on the practice of female genital mutilation and making it a punishable offence, so that it is not repeated, once a law is made.

The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul heard the PIL and issued a notice to Centre while saying, “This issue is extremely sensitive and important.”

The practice which is common in the Dawoodi Bohra Community had come under the scanner recently when progressive Muslim women had launched a protest against the practice through online videos and petitions.

According to a News18 report, advocate Sunita Tiwari, who has been working on the case since the last couple of years said that this practice is not only cruel but often renders a woman “trapped in a dead marriage as the woman is deprived of any sensation, whatsoever.”

In the petition, the lawyer also stated that the UN General Assembly, through a special resolution in 2012, had banned the practice. After this, 27 African countries banned the practice. However, India, which is a signatory to the convention on child and human rights, has done nothing for the cruel practice so far.

The Supreme Court has also taken note of the states where such practices are happening on a large scale including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Delhi.

The petitioner has demanded that a separate legislation should be brought to completely ban the practice, making it a punishable.