5 Jun 2023 6:59 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has recently ordered shifting of a 14-year-old pregnant minor to a children's home for girls for safe delivery of the child after she and her guardian brother refused to agree to medical termination of her pregnancy. Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani was hearing a plea moved by the minor through her 22-year-old brother seeking medical termination of her 28 weeks old...
The Delhi High Court has recently ordered shifting of a 14-year-old pregnant minor to a children's home for girls for safe delivery of the child after she and her guardian brother refused to agree to medical termination of her pregnancy.
Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani was hearing a plea moved by the minor through her 22-year-old brother seeking medical termination of her 28 weeks old pregnancy.
The minor got pregnant as a result of physical relations between her and the accused in the FIR registered under sections 366A and 376(2)(n) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
However, the minor later refused to go for termination of the pregnancy and said that she wanted to marry the accused. The court was informed that the minor had no discussion with the accused who has been in judicial custody since May 27.
“The petitioner be shifted forthwith from ‘Sakhi One-Stop Centre’, IHBAS Hospital Complex, Shahdara, Delhi to Childrens Home for Girls-IV, Nirmal Chayya, New Delhi in terms of the Follow-up Order dated 31.05.2023 made by the CWC for being put under necessary care and protection, in accordance with the mandate of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, as per their norms and procedure,” the court said while disposing of the plea.
Justice Bhambhani ordered so while noting that the CWC had suggested that the minor be placed in the children's home in case medical termination of pregnancy was not advised, in order to ensure proper antenatal care to the child and proper assistance for a safe delivery to the minor.
On court’s query, the brother had during the proceedings said that their father had died long time ago and mother suffered from mental illness.
Pursuant to court’s order on May 31, the minor was produced before the Medical Board for medical termination of pregnancy at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
The report of the Medical Board stated that the minor had communicated her wish to continue pregnancy and then give up the baby for adoption. It was also recorded that the brother also expressed the desire that the pregnancy be continued. Accordingly, the Medical Board recorded that the issue of feasibility and advisability of medical termination did not arise.
On a personal interaction with the court on June 01, both the minor and her brother said that they do not wish to terminate the pregnancy.
As the counsel appearing for the minor urged court to summon the accused in order to ascertain his wishes as the girl had expressed the desire to marry him, Justice Bhambhani refused to enlarge the scope of the petition which was moved seeking MTP.
Noting that medical termination of pregnancy only requires the consent of the “woman”, the court said:
“In the present case, since the ‘woman’ is in fact a child of about 14 years of age, the law requires that consent be taken from the ‘guardian’ of the woman within the meaning of section 2(a) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. In the present case, it appears that the only guardian available, in whose care and custody the petitioner is presently, is her brother ‘D’, who is about 22 years old, who has also expressed both before the Medical Board as also before this court that they do not consent to medical termination of the pregnancy.”
Title: MINOR K THROUGH BROTHER D v. STATE & ANR
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 493
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