A 28-year-old rape victim from Vadodara has approached the Gujarat High Court (HC) seeking permission to medically terminate her 12 weeks pregnancy that was conceived allegedly following a rape. A single-judge bench of the HC has directed the authorities of SSG Hospital in Vadodara to carry out necessary medical tests on the victim for forming specific opinion for termination of the pregnancy.
According to the victims advocate,Pratik Barot,the victim is a married woman and has a one-and-a-half-years-old son. Her husband is a businessman. Due to a financial crisis in the business,the victim had started living at her parental home in Vadodara and met the accused,Ashok Shah,a neighbour.
As per the victims complaint,Shah had helped her husband in his business and lent him Rs 11 lakh on interest.
Initially,Shah allegedly took interest from the victims husband,but later he did not take interest and instead sought sexual favours from the victim. The accused also allegedly showed the victim some blank papers signed by her husband and threatened to frame him in criminal cases.
The woman allegedly succumbed to the pressure and the accused had allegedly done intercourse with her on many occasions. When the harassment crossed the limits,the woman informed her husband and lodged the complaint with Panigate police station of Vadodara.
At present,the accused is on the run. He had moved an anticipatory bail petition before the concerned sessions court in Vadodara.
The bail was rejected by the court. He has now approached the HC seeking anticipatory bail.
Barot said since the
victims pregnancy is
12-week-old,they have sought opinions of two doctors of the hospital.
The bench of Justice S R Brahmbhatt is hearing the matter and the court has ordered SSG Hospital authorities,…to carry out necessary medical tests for forming up specific opinion for termination of the pregnancy. The report is ordered to be placed before the court on June 21 when the matter will be heard further.
Barot said this was at least the fourth incidence in past a few years when a rape victim approached the court to terminate the pregnancy conceived as a result of the rape. Before this,three minor rape victims from Surendranagar,Junagadh and Amreli had approached the court to medically terminate their pregnancy conceived following the rape.
He added under the provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,a rape victim has to get permission of the court if she wants to terminate the pregnancy. This is necessary to preserve the DNA samples of the foetus to make sure if they match with those of the accused or not.