The Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday issued a notice to the Punjab government on a petition filed by a minor rape victim from Mohali, seeking permission to terminate her 10-week-old pregnancy. The High Court has sought reply by March 19.
The 17-year-old, through her plea filed through advocate Vijay Lath, told the High Court that she was kidnapped in December last year and escaped from the clutches of the abductor on February 20.
“The police got (sic) conducted medical examination of the petitioner in (sic) 21.02.2018, according to which the petitioner has been (sic) found to be pregnant and the pregnancy is …stated to be about 10 weeks as on date,” the plea read.
Stating that there is a grave injury to her physical and mental health, the victim’s counsel, in the plea, said that the termination falls within the parameters of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The parents of the victim, in the plea before the High Court, have given their consent for termination of the pregnancy saying, “birth of child to minor daughter from rape will cause physical and mental injury to the petitioner.”
As per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, a pregnancy can be terminated by a registered doctor when it does not exceed 12-week limit. Beyond it till 20 weeks, it can only be allowed after seeking the opinion of two doctors. The termination of pregnancy beyond the 20-week limit is only allowed by courts, usually in cases where it becomes necessary to safeguard the life of the pregnant woman.
“The case involves a minor and thus the court permission becomes essential for the termination,” advocate Lath told Chandigarh Newsline. “A notice has been issued in the case for March 19.”
The plea also read that the parents of the victim are daily wagers and not in a position to the bear any medical expenses. “Petitioner could not be forced to give birth to a child of (a) rapist. The anguish and humiliation, which the petitioner is suffering daily, will certainly cause a grave injury to her mental health,” it read.