The Bombay High Court on Monday allowed the termination of pregnancy of a minor girl after a specially-constituted committee of medical officers opined that continuation would be riskier.
A bench of Justice Naresh H Patil and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai allowed the petition filed by the minor girl’s guardian and gave directions to terminate her pregnancy under Section 3(2) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
The girl had gone missing on July 29, 2017. Her father lodged an FIR two days later at Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra. The FIR was registered for offences punishable under Section 363 (punishment for kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code.
The petitioner contended that the minor girl was rescued from a village in Uttar Pradesh and brought to Mumbai by the police on March 15, 2018. Police also obtained a medical report of the minor girl on March 17. The petitioner, with the help of an NGO called ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ and the State Legal Services Authority, filed the petition before the high court seeking medical termination of pregnancy of the minor girl.
In accordance with the high court’s order dated April 7, a medical board was constituted. A specially appointed committee of five medical officers filed a report after examining the minor girl and determined that she was 24 weeks pregnant. In the report, it was stated: “After 24 weeks of gestation, termination of pregnancy also carries risk to the mother. However, continuation would be riskier.”
Thus, the committee opined that it was advisable to terminate the pregnancy. Appearing for the petitioner, Deepa Chawan sought necessary directions as per wishes of the minor’s parents as well. She submitted that currently the mother of the minor girl is seriously ill and there was nobody to look after the child (minor’s) as the father is struggling to take care of both the wife and minor daughter.
The court finally said: “We direct the petitioner to remain present before the Dean, Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, Mumbai tomorrow so that further steps under the directions and instructions of the Dean could be taken for making necessary arrangements for termination of pregnancy.”