Friday, March 31, 2023

Allahabad HC allows termination of 24-week foetus of minor rape victim

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The Allahabad High Court has allowed the termination of a 12-year-old rape victim’s 24-week-old pregnancy.

The Division Bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi and Justice Om Prakash Shukla passed this order while hearing a petition filed by the victim’s father.

The case relates to unwanted pregnancy of a rape victim.

On September 8, the Court passed the following order:-

“The petitioner who is stated to be 12 years of age is a victim of rape. The termination of unwanted pregnancy is an issue that has cropped up before us in the writ petition. As per the statement of the victim, pregnancy is 16 weeks. The Court lacks medical expertise for expressing an opinion in this regard.

The KGMU, Lucknow is permitted to be implemented as an opposite party during the course of the day.

Let the victim be examined at KGMU, Lucknow at the earliest.

The victim is permitted to be taken to the KGMU, Lucknow immediately where she shall be admitted and subjected to the medical examination.

Registrar, KGMU, Lucknow is hereby directed to ensure admission of the petitioner whose name shall remain undisclosed. The medical report upon the examination of the victim shall be placed before this court on or before 14.09.2022. The guardian of the victim shall ensure production of the victim at KGMU, Lucknow on 10.09.2022. Compliance report shall be submitted by KGMU, Lucknow through the Chief Standing Counsel or the Standing Counsel appointed by the KGMU, Lucknow.

The Chief Medical Officer, Bahraich shall arrange for the transportation of the victim along with her guardian to KGMU, Lucknow. Besides ensuring the arrangement, the expenditure for medical examination etc, expenditure for lodging of two persons and all other medical expenses incurred by the victim shall also be met with out of the state funds available. List on 14.09.2022″.

Shivam Tripathi, counsel appearing for the University, has been prompt enough to apprise the Court about the report which we called for under our order dated 14.9.2022. On an oral request of the counsel for the University, we proceeded to summon the record of the case and that is how the matter has come up. We deem the case to be an urgent one calling for immediate attention, the Court observed.

Keeping in view the report dated 12.9.2022 placed before us, the Court permitted the medical experts to proceed with the challenge of terminating the pregnancy in the interest of justice. This we permit in order to free the victim of the trauma and social miseries ahead.

“The petitioner shall be provided due medical care equipped with all the necessities required for the purpose. We hope and trust that the CMO, Bahraich shall monitor financial implications to the fullest inclusive of the fooding and lodging of two extra family members of the victim.

We also permit the medical board to obtain necessary consent of the victim’s father before termination of pregnancy. The tissues of the foetus shall be preserved for forensic analysis and use of the evidence in trial,” the order reads.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on September 20, 2022.

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