Matrimonial Discord Can’t Be Considered As Reason For Permitting Termination Of Pregnancy: Bombay HC [Read Order]

Matrimonial Discord Can’t Be Considered As Reason For Permitting Termination Of Pregnancy: Bombay HC [Read Order]

‘The fact remains that she is carrying pregnancy out of her marital life and she is major and educated.’

Refusing a plea seeking termination of pregnancy, the Bombay High Court held that matrimonial discord cannot be considered as a reason for permitting termination of pregnancy by invoking provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

A married woman, carrying pregnancy of more than 20 weeks, approached Bombay High Court contending that she does not intend to continue with the pregnancy as she intends to pursue her studies and apply for divorce. According to her, taking into account her health problem of epilepsy, it will not be advisable to continue with the pregnancy and also pursue her studies. In her plea, it was also stated that she had always cautioned her husband to have protective sex, but he did not pay any heed to the same.

The petition also challenged stipulation of a ceiling of 20 weeks for an abortion to be done under Section 3 of the Act, on the ground that the said provision ultra vires Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

A division bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Nitin W Sambre observed that none of the medical papers produced by her certifies that there is imminent danger to her life and she has no case that foetus will not be able to survive.

The bench observed that the lady is seeking permission to terminate pregnancy merely for asking when the fact remains that she is carrying pregnancy out of her marital life and she is major and educated.

The bench said: “It is required to be noted that the petitioner is seeking termination of pregnancy based on the cause viz. her matrimonial discord with her husband, her intention to initiate divorce proceedings and to pursue her career and improve her education qualification. If the aforesaid cause as cited by the petitioner are examined in the light of the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, same not at all recognized to form basis for accepting the prayer of the petitioner to terminate the pregnancy.”

Dismissing her plea, the bench observed: “Her matrimonial discord cannot be considered as a reason for permitting her to have termination of pregnancy by invoking provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. For the eventualities which are spelt out in the petition, it is really difficult to consider and grant the request of the petitioner for permitting her to have a termination of pregnancy.”

The bench also declined to entertain the prayer challenging stipulation of 20 weeks ceiling observing that no arguments are canvassed on it.

Read the Order Here