38.6c New Delhi, India, Sunday, May 26, 2024

Charge Of Female Genital Mutilation Against Indian Doctor Dismissed By Us Court

By Anurupa Biswas      02 October, 2021 03:52 PM      0 Comments
Charge Of Female Genital Mutilation Against Indian Doctor Dismissed By Us Court

A case, first of its kind in the United States, of Female genital mutilation by an Indian origin doctor has been dismissed by a US Federal judge.

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala who was accused of conspiracy to travel with an intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct involving two 7-year-old Minnesota girls who were brought to Metro Detroit.  She had pleaded to dismiss the charges against her as reported by the Detroit News.

Female genital mutilation is practised by some members of the Dawoodi Bohra, a Muslim sect from India that has a small community in Metro Detroit. Authorities alleged that Minnesota mothers Haseena Halfal and Zainab Hariyanawala brought their daughters to Detroit in Feb 2017 for the procedure. 

The case emerged in 2017 April leading to arrest of Dr. Nagarwala along with seven others, a conspiracy that apparently lasted for 12 years. 

Judge Bernard Friedman dismissed the fourth superseding indictment filed by prosecutors in the case, ruling that it amounted to vindictive prosecution. She was accused of performing female genital mutilation on 9 girls at a Detroit clinic, Dr. Nagarwala denied it saying she was performing a religious custom.

In April 2017, she was charged under the Female Genital Mutilation statute passed by the congress. Judge Friedman dismissed those charges in 2018 after ruling the statute was unconstitutional. The Judge ruled that Congress did not have the power to enact a federal law that banned female genital mutilation in the United States.

In March 2021 charges of making false statements and tampering with the witnesses were added by the prosecutors which was quashed by the Judge stating it was “clearly unreasonable and indicative of vindictiveness”. 

Although Judge Friedman agreed that the defendants supplied false information to the authorities stating that FGM was not being performed in their community, but conspiring or telling such lies was not a crime during the time frame at issue (May 2016 - April 2017) because the statute making FGM a federal offence was unconstitutional.

The court held that the Congress lacked the authority to ban Female genital mutilation, making the statute void ab initio and therefore dismissed the case against Dr. Jumana Nagarwala.

Share this article:

Leave a feedback about this


Trending Judiciary
Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea for stay on new criminal laws

SC refuses plea to stay new criminal laws. Court deems the plea casual, noting laws aren't yet implemented. Petitioner withdraws. Laws effective from July 1, 2024.

20 May, 2024 12:58 PM
Trending Know The Law
SCBA Election Result 2024, Know the newly elected members

SCBA Election Result 2024: Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal elected President. Know the newly elected members and key office bearers leading the Supreme Court Bar Association.

20 May, 2024 03:03 PM
Trending Judiciary
Cannot Allow the Game of Hide and Seek for Committing Murder of an Unborn Child: MP High Court [Read Order]

MP High Court denies abortion for minor rape victim, condemns misuse of legal authority to terminate pregnancy and prevent justice.

20 May, 2024 03:52 PM
Trending Judiciary
Pune Porsche Hit & Run: Bail Granted to 17 Year Old in Under 14 Hours, Asked to write essay

Bail granted to 17-year-old in Pune Porsche hit-and-run case within 14 hours. Conditions include educational tasks, supervision, and counseling. Incident killed two.

20 May, 2024 04:30 PM


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email