Days after a delay caused by doctors in Mewat led to a medical board’s refusal to allow a rape victim’s request for termination of her unwanted pregnancy of 24 weeks, the Punjab and Haryana High Court in an important decision has decided to look into the issue of implementation of its 2016 directions on the termination of pregnancy in the rape cases.
The lawyers in the case have been asked to prepare a chart to apprise the court about non-compliance of the earlier directions to allow the High Court to pass a fresh suitable order on the matter. The order by Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain has been passed following a submission before the bench stating that the governments have failed to follow the 2016 judgment.
In 2016, Justice Paramjeet Singh Dhaliwal, who has since retired, in the judgment of a case of a minor seeking permission for termination of her pregnancy had issued a slew of directions for the speedy disposal of such requests from the victims. The judgment had been sent to both the advocate generals of Punjab and Haryana and Senior Standing Counsel for UT to ensure that the case “can be determined on the first day itself by sending the woman to the medical board immediately for quick action if possible under the provisions of law.”
The single bench of Justice Jain during the resumed hearing of the case, now restricted to implementation of the order, on January 15 was informed by the lawyers that the authorities have not conducted any awareness programmes for the doctors, investigating agencies, lawyers and judicial officers and also the refresher courses have not been introduced for the lower court judges.