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Gujarat HC refuses nod to terminate 30-wk pregnancy of minor rape survivor from tribal community

Considering medical experts’ opinion, the socio-economic situation and the victim’s condition as a differently abled child, the Gujarat High Court ordered that once delivered, the baby shall be handed over to an orphanage home.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
July 1, 2022 1:43:59 pm
The victim’s mother, a homeless widow who is the sole breadwinner of the family, had lodged an FIR at Dhanera police station under charges of rape under the IPC and Pocso Act in June after she realised belatedly that her minor daughter was pregnant. (File)

The Gujarat High Court refused to allow medical termination of pregnancy of a 15-year-old rape survivor who belongs to a tribal community following medical experts’ opinion that it will not be desirable to terminate the 30-week pregnancy.

The victim’s mother, a homeless widow who is the sole breadwinner of the family, had lodged an FIR at Dhanera police station under charges of rape under the IPC and Pocso Act in June after she realised belatedly that her minor daughter was pregnant. The girl, mute since birth, is of unsound mental state.

A panel of doctors formed by Banas Medical College and Research Institute, after examining the minor, had opined that “looking to the 29 weeks and six days pregnancy termination is not possible” and had further stated that the patient is fit to continue pregnancy and there is “no substantial risk to the life of the patient… if pregnancy is continued.”

Taking into consideration the medical experts’ opinion, socio-economic situation as well as the victim’s condition as a differently abled child, the court of Justice Niral Mehta, in an order dated June 29, directed that once the baby is delivered, it shall be handed over to a reputed orphanage home, with the process guided by the district legal services authority at Patan. The court also directed the district collector to depute an “officer of his confidence to inquire” and make sure that the girl, during her pregnancy till the delivery and post-delivery days, “be accommodated adequately so as to ensure the health of the victim during these days.”

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Justice Mehta also requested the member secretary of Gujarat State Legal Services Authority to decide the interim compensation within a period of 15 days under the Gujarat State Victim Compensation Rules, 2019.

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First published on: 01-07-2022 at 01:43:59 pm

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