A 12-year-old rape victim gave birth on Wednesday, only to see the baby die within 10 minutes. Wednesday was also when the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court was scheduled to hear her father’s plea seeking a decision on the medical termination of pregnancy (MTP).
The girl was raped by a friend of her father, a labourer, residing in the same neighbourhood in Chandrapur district. After her parents lodged a police complaint on March 13, the accused was arrested and the girl admitted to a hospital.
Following this, the doctors asked the police to approach the court for an appropriate order on MTP. The HC registry went on to appoint a counsel for the petitioner – the girl’s father – and asked her to submit a petition.
“I submitted the petition the same day,” the counsel said. “The case was taken up for hearing on April 8. The HC directed the formation of a doctors’ panel and accordingly, a panel of five was set up. It opined that since the girl had by then already completed over 24 weeks of her pregnancy, MTP could result in the live birth. This raised the question as to who would take the child’s responsibility.”
“The court fixed April 15 to further hear the case, but before it could take up the matter, the girl delivered the baby around 10 am. The baby, however, died within 10 minutes,” the counsel added.
“This development has made the basic petition infructuous, but the only matter that remains to be addressed now is the government compensation to the victim and her recuperation. For that, the court has fixed April 23 as the next date of hearing,” the counsel said.
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