Father of a 14-year-old rape victim on Thursday moved the Gujarat High Court seeking to terminate her 24-week pregnancy, days after a lower court turned down his request. The HC is likely to deliver its order on the matter on Friday.
This is the third such case in Gujarat courts in the past four months. Earlier this month, a sessions court in Ahmedabad allowed a city-based government hospital to terminate the pregnancy of woman suffering with a mental disorder. In April, the High Court had rejected the abortion plea of a Botad rape victim, who eventually gave birth to a boy this month at a government hospital in Bhavnagar.
The fresh plea has been filed by a man on the behalf of his daughter, a Class X student who was allegedly raped four months ago by a doctor at Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha district.
Justice Abhilasha Kumari on Thursday heard the matter at length and kept the order reserved. During the arguments, she told the petitioner that the court has sympathy with his daughter, but its “hands are tied” as far as law is concerned. Under the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, permission for abortion cannot allowed if the pregnancy period exceeds 20 weeks.
Justice Kumari said that the court is fully aware of the sufferings of the victim, but it cannot override the law of the land.
According to petitioner’s lawyer Pradip Bhate, the girl’s parents are daily wagers and that victim wants to terminate the pregnancy.
Around four months ago, the girl was suffering from typhoid and her parents took her to a doctor in Himmatnagar. It is alleged that the doctor told her parents to wait outside and gave some sedative to the girl, following which he raped her. The girl was threatened not to reveal the incident to her parents, and it was only after she complained of sickness a couple of months later, her pregnancy was detected.