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Kerala High Court Directs Hospital To Do The Needful In Minor Rape Victim's Plea For Termination Of 26-Week Pregnancy

Hannah M Varghese
1 April 2022 1:45 PM GMT
Kerala High Court Directs Hospital To Do The Needful In Minor Rape Victims Plea For Termination Of 26-Week Pregnancy
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The Kerala High Court on Friday came across another plea moved by a sexually abused minor girl seeking permission to undergo medical termination of her over 26-week old pregnancy. Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan disposed of the plea moved by the girl's mother. Regrettably, this is the second incident in less than 25 days which depicts a frightening trend of rising cases of minor...

The Kerala High Court on Friday came across another plea moved by a sexually abused minor girl seeking permission to undergo medical termination of her over 26-week old pregnancy. 

Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan disposed of the plea moved by the girl's mother.

Regrettably, this is the second incident in less than 25 days which depicts a frightening trend of rising cases of minor survivors approaching the Court seeking the termination of their pregnancy. The same Judge had passed an identical order in that case as well. 

When the matter was taken for admission, a medical board was directed to be constituted to examine the stage of pregnancy of the petitioner's daughter and file a report on the same. 

According to the report submitted by the medical board thus constituted, the foetus was found free from congenital anomalies as per the ultrasound scan and it added that the chance of survival of the baby at this level of maturity was high. The report further said that the mother was found to have anaemia and epistaxis, which need further evaluation and if found to be due to a correctable cause, there is no contraindication to continuing with the pregnancy.

The medical team also suggested that considering the age of the mother and social circumstances, medical termination of pregnancy may be considered after obtaining permission from the court of law.

The Court noted that since the medical report stated that the fetus is 26 weeks of gestational age, free from congenital anomalies with high chances of survival, it was not in a position to order the termination of pregnancy. Therefore, it followed the suit of its previous order in a similar case and passed a set of directions to the concerned authorities. 

Directions Issued:

(i) The respondent hospital is permitted to do the needful in accordance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act within one week. If they need any expert medical assistance from any other specialists, they may request the Director of Health Services, who will do the needful forthwith.

(ii) If the baby is born alive, the Hospital will do the needful in accordance with law and assume full responsibility to ensure that such child is offered the best medical treatment available in the circumstances in order that it develops into a healthy child.

(iii) It is also declared that if the parents of the child are not willing to or not in a position to assume the responsibility of the child, then the State and its agency will have to assume full responsibility for such child and offer such child medical support and facilities as may be reasonably feasible, adhering always to the principle of best interests of such child as well as the statutory provisions in the Juvenile Justice Act.

(iv) If any request is given by the Investigating Officer who is investigating the criminal case in this matter, the authorities will take the tissue for a DNA test.

With these directions, the plea was disposed of.

Advocates K.P. Pradeep, T.T. Biju, T. Thasmi and M.J. Anoopa appeared for the petitioner. ASGI S. Manu and Government Pleader Vidya Kuriakose also appeared in the matter.

Case Title: XXX v. Union of India

Click Here To Read/ Download The Order

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