If the conditions enumerated in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, are fulfilled, the pregnancy of victim can be terminated, the court observed.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has observed that a rape victim cannot be compelled to give birth to a child of the rapist and if the conditions enumerated in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, are fulfilled, the pregnancy of victim can be terminated.
Justice Sujoy Paul was considering a plea of mother seeking a direction for terminating the pregnancy of his minor daughter who is allegedly a rape victim.
“The anguish and the humiliation, which the victim is suffering daily, will certainly cause a grave injury to her mental health. Not only this, the child will also suffer mental anguish in case the lady gives birth to a child,” the court said observing that the victim/guardian has a valuable right to take a decision regarding termination of pregnancy and such right is flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution.
As the victim was not subjected to medical examination by two or more registered medical practitioners which is a statutory requirement as per Section 3(2)(b) of the Act, the court said the permission cannot be granted for terminating the pregnancy without fulfilling such statutory requirement.
The court then ordered that a committee shall be constituted within 24 hours from the date of receipt of this order and shall examine the victim within 24 hours therefrom. “If the Committee comes to the conclusion that pregnancy of the victim can be terminated in consonance with Section 3 or Section 5 of the Act, the respondents shall undertake the exercise of terminating the pregnancy as per law forthwith,” the court said.
“There is a great urgency in this matter, considering the duration of pregnancy. Thus, it shall be the duty of the respondents to ensure strict compliance of this order within stipulated time,” the court said directing the Deputy Advocate General to communicate this order to all concerned.