Delhi High Court has directed the Dean of All India Institute Of Medical Sciences to constitute a Committee of Experts to examine a woman who's seeking termination of pregnancy in the 23rd week due to abnormalities and comorbidities in the foetus.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has directed the said Committee to examine the impact of termination of pregnancy on the health of the Petitioner and submit a report on July 13.
Moving an urgent plea for termination of pregnancy under sections 3(2) and 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the Petitioner submitted that her pregnancy has reached the 23rd gestational week and the foetus suffers from spinal and cardiac defects that makes it improbable for the foetus to survive, causing extreme trauma to the Petitioner.
The Petitioner further submitted that if her plea is not addressed urgently, it will cause severe health complications to her.
The Petitioner has also challenged the validity of section 3(2) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act which restricts the right to terminate pregnancy to 20 gestational weeks.
It is argued that the said restriction is both archaic and arbitrary as most of the abnormalities in a foetus become discoverable only after the 20th week.
The Petitioner has also challenged Section 5 of the Act so far as it states 'the termination of such pregnancy is immediately necessary to save the life of the woman', as being violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
It is argued that the said provision is unconstitutional as it doesn't recognise the physical and mental health, and well being of the women as being part of the expression 'life.'
While issuing directions for the constitution of an expert committee to examine the Petitioner, the court also issued notices to the Delhi Government as well as to AIIMS.
'You shouldn't waste any time in approaching AIIMS and communicating our order to them', the court told the Petitioner.
The matter will next be taken up on July 14.
Petitioner in this case is being represented by Ms Sneha Mukherjee