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Above: A pregnant woman undergoing check-up under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan(Representational picture)

Sarmishtha Chakraborty of West Bengal had appealed to the Supreme Court seeking permission to abort her foetus when it was 23 weeks old, citing serious deformity issues. However, this issue has been hanging fire and the foetus is now 25 weeks old.

At the last hearing the standing counsel for West Bengal said that a medical board with Dr Arati Biswas as the chief had already been formed as per instructions of the court and that the petitioner was to be medically tested on July 25 and matter be listed for July 29. The medical team was to have submitted its report by then (Thursday) in a sealed cover. The bench that heard those submissions comprised Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

On Thursday (June 29) the same case came up before the vacation bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

The counsel for West Bengal handed over the report of the medical board and the bench studied it.

The bench then said: “We request the counsel of respondent West Bengal to give copies to the petitioner and the Union. Let the matter be listed on Monday, July 3.”

The bench made it clear that the copy (of the report) should not be given to anyone else. The petitioner requested the matter be listed at the earliest tomorrow (June 30) since the foetus is in its 25th week, but vacation bench said: “Let it come on Monday before the regular bench.”

—India Legal Bureau

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