Updated: December 28, 2021 1:26:03 am
The Bombay High Court on Monday allowed an 11-year-old rape victim to medically terminate her 22-week pregnancy. The court-appointed medical board had submitted that while currently there is only a minor anomaly in the foetus, the minor is anguished with the pregnancy and it would have a psychological impact on her.
Permitting the minor to terminate the pregnancy, the vacation bench of justices S J Kathawalla and Abhay Ahuja directed the authorities at J J Hospital to provide the necessary counselling to the girl before and after the procedure.
The petition was filed on behalf of the minor by her father. Last week, the High Court directed the medical board at J J Hospital to examine the minor and submit a report on Monday.
The medical board, after conducting an examination and a psychiatric evaluation, told the court that continuation of the pregnancy may lead to complications like anaemia, pregnancy-induced hypertension as well as increased operative interference during labour.
“Though at 22 weeks of gestation, termination of pregnancy carries risk to pregnant minors, continuation of pregnancy will have both physical and mental stress to the minor mother,” the board said, advising termination of pregnancy. The girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by her 22-year-old cousin.
Since it is a case of offences under rape of the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the HC has also directed the hospital to preserve blood and tissue samples for carrying out relevant medical tests, including DNA, for trial against the accused.
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