The Bombay High Court Wednesday did not allow a minor girl, an alleged rape victim, to abort her 26-week-old foetus, citing it could endanger the girl’s life. The court, hearing a petition filed by her father, said she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy and such termination would put the girl at risk. The petition filed by the girl’s father, a Pune resident, had said the girl was “mentally not in a position to have this child”. Pointing out that it was too late to consider such a prayer, the court said, “We are not inclined to grant permission in this case. Such action would put the girl in danger.” The father withdrew his petition, but the court of Justice Ranjit More and Justice S A Kotwal allowed him to file a fresh petition seeking compensation.
The father had sought compensation of Rs 10 lakh from the state for his daughter “to secure her health and future”. According to his petition, the girl was denied termination of pregnancy because she is more than 20 weeks pregnant. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act allows a woman to abort her foetus only up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The petition had said it was the girl’s decision to terminate the pregnancy which was a result of “sexual relations that is not permitted by law or by her”. “…forcing pregnancy on her is an infringement of her right to life and right to privacy,” it said. The petition states that the girl (17) went missing from her college in August 2016.
When her father came home from work on August 22, 2016, his wife told him she had not returned from college. Her parents searched for her and then filed an FIR with the Dattawadi police the next day alleging their daughter had been kidnapped by unknown persons. In the supplementary chargesheet, the father later stated that since his daughter’s disappearance, a boy in the neighborhood had also gone missing, the petition claims.
An investigation was initiated by the police thereafter. She was finally traced on April 23, 2017, during a procession of Ambedkar Jayanti in Solapur. The statement of the girl was recorded and the accused was remanded in police custody.
“In her statement, she disclosed that the accused, who she knew by face, came to her college gate and said that her father was waiting at the Swargate stand in Pune and had asked him to get her there urgently. Thereafter, she was abducted by him…He forcefully put a mangalsutra. She was finally taken to Solapur and kept there forcefully,” stated the petition, adding that she was forced into a sexual relation with the accused.