New Delhi, Aug 4 (PTI) The government today said provisions of the POCSO Act and Indian Penal Code were sufficient to prosecute those who practised female genital mutilation (FGM), virtually ruling out bringing in a new law to ban it.

Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi had told a national daily that a law would be brought in to ban the practice in India if the Bohra community leaders didn’t issue an edict to end FGM.

FGM or ‘khatna’ is a practice among the members of the community where girls have had either part of the clitoral hood or the entire clitoris cut.

“Necessary safeguards are already available under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, which can be invoked for prosecution of people indulging in the practice of FGM,” she said in response to a question in Lok Sabha.

Gandhi had said that she was planning to write to Bohra community leaders asking for enforcing a ban on the practice of FGM. The ministry had drafted an advisory listing provisions under the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act under which its practioners can be prosecuted.

In May, the Supreme Court had asked the government and four states to respond to a petition seeking a ban on the FGM.

The practice is banned in the UK, the US and Australia.

The UNICEF estimates about 200 million girls worldwide have undergone FGM which often causes serious physical and psychological problem.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.