7 Dec 2022 11:52 AM GMT
The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday allowed a 13-year-old rape victim to undergo medical termination of over 25 weeks of pregnancy, after the medical board gave its recommendation for the abortion.Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra directed the authorities to proceed with termination of pregnancy as expeditiously as possible without any further delay."Before proceeding with the termination...
The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday allowed a 13-year-old rape victim to undergo medical termination of over 25 weeks of pregnancy, after the medical board gave its recommendation for the abortion.
Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra directed the authorities to proceed with termination of pregnancy as expeditiously as possible without any further delay.
"Before proceeding with the termination of pregnancy, it shall be proper for the Medical Board to obtain declaration from the father of the victim girl that he has consented to terminate his daughter's pregnancy. It may be mentioned that victim and her father are connected virtually and have given their consent. They have in clear and unequivocal terms agreed for termination of pregnancy knowing the risk involved in it on being informed of it," the court said in the order.
The court also said the medical termination of pregnancy should be carried out under the guidance of Dr. Chitra Joshi, HOD, OBGY, GDMC, Dehradun and during the medical procedure, if they find any risk or danger to the life of the victim girl, then they have discretion to cancel the procedure for medical termination of pregnancy.
"The reasons which persuaded us to pass the order of termination of pregnancy are conception by the petitioner is a result of offence of rape committed upon her by her close relative. The unwed mother (victim girl) is a minor and has to undergo the ignominy of an undesirable pregnancy. It will hamper her further physical and mental growth. It will also affect her future education prospects," said the bench.
The court further said the social stigma the victim girl will face will be insurmountable in this case, as she and her family "belong to very humble walks of life".
"The social stigma the unborn child will face is also a matter of great concern to us as the child will definitely be viewed with disdain and will be looked down upon as an undesirable child by his / her peers in society," said the court.
The minor girl through her father had filed a petition seeking termination of pregnancy of 25 weeks and 4 days "caused due to illegal act perpetuated upon her."
The Court took note of decisions of the Supreme Court and various High Courts, where the permission for termination of pregnancy was granted even after completion of 24 weeks of pregnancy.
While perusing these decisions, the Court said:
"Having given our anxious consideration to the facts of the case, the different judgments of Hon'ble Supreme Court and High Courts, we are of the opinion that in this case, we should allow the Medical Board, which has already been constituted to proceed with medical termination of pregnancy of the victim girl, if there is no danger to the life of victim girl".
The court in the order also took note of LiveLaw's report of a case wherein Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed termination of pregnancy of 33 weeks of a 26-year-old woman.
"This Court in the case of X through her father Vs. State of Uttarakhand, 2022 SCC Online Utt 61 has allowed the termination of pregnancy of 25 weeks of 16 year old girl by the team of experts. The Delhi High Court, today, in a case reported in livelaw has allowed termination of pregnancy of 33 weeks of a 26 year old woman," it said.
Case Title: 'X' represented by her father and natural guardian v. State of Uttarakhand and Others
Citation: Writ Petition (MS) No. 3105 of 2022
Coram: Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Utt) 44
Click Here To Read/Download the Order