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Sunday, October 17, 2021

UP: High Court allows minor rape survivor to terminate pregnancy

The division bench of Justices Ritu Raj Awasthi and Dinesh Kumar Singh passed the order on a petition filed by the minor’s father, saying his daughter was subjected to sexual abuse which eventually resulted in pregnancy.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: July 26, 2021 3:59:40 am
The division bench of Justices Ritu Raj Awasthi and Dinesh Kumar Singh passed the order on a petition filed by the minor’s father, saying his daughter was subjected to sexual abuse which eventually resulted in pregnancy. Her father sought the court’s permission for aborting her foetus.

The Lucknow bench Allahabad High Court has granted permission to a minor rape survivor to terminate her 20-week pregnancy. The order came on a report by a medical board which said her pregnancy could be terminated.

In its order on Friday, the bench said considering the medical report dated 15.07.2021 and placed before the court by the counsel for King George’s Medical University, “we allow termination of pregnancy of the victim, which shall be done at an authorised medical hospital at the earliest, say, within a period of one week.”

The division bench of Justices Ritu Raj Awasthi and Dinesh Kumar Singh passed the order on a petition filed by the minor’s father, saying his daughter was subjected to sexual abuse which eventually resulted in pregnancy. Her father sought the court’s permission for aborting her foetus.

Taking up the petition, the court directed the additional chief standing counsel to communicate its order to constitute a medical board to the vice-chancellor of the King George’s Medical University (KGMU). The board’s brief was to examine the minor and explore the feasibility of terminating her pregnancy.

The court observed, “The report of the Medical Board constituted by the Vice Chancellor, K.G.M.U. has been produced before the Court. As per the said report dated 15.07.2021, foetus of the victim/petitioner, who has been described as ‘A’, is 20 weeks’ old and, as per the medical advice, termination of pregnancy can be carried out under The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021.”

It said it had sought the consent of the minor and her father and had also gone through the police records pertaining to the case before pronouncing its order. “We asked the consent of the victim/petitioner and her father for termination of pregnancy of the victim, both of whom specifically said that the victim would like to get her pregnancy terminated,” the court said.

As per medical report, the minor’s father filed the petition in June, seeking direction to the chief medical officer of Hardoi to abort his daughter’s foetus which was about 18 weeks old at the time. The plea was filed on behalf of the survivor. The court examined the case diary, which was submitted by the investigating officer and included the survivor’s statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC.

In her statement, the victim said after being raped, she developed pain in her stomach and her menstruation cycle stopped. On examination, she was found to be pregnant. The case was registered in June.

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