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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking termination of a 24 weeks old pregnancy of student pursuing B.A. The Petitioner is a woman who submitted that she wanted to terminate the foetus to get rid of a bad incident of her life when her boyfriend, also father of the expected child broke up with her.

The time limit for medical termination of pregnancy is 20 weeks as per Section 3 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. Only two exceptions are provided therein which states that if medical practitioners are of opinion that:-

  • Continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to physical and mental health.
  • There is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such mental and physical abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

The explanation further provides that:-

  • Where pregnancy is caused by rape, the anguish caused by such pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute grave injury to mental health of pregnant woman.
  • Where any pregnancy occurs as a result of failure of device or method used by any married woman or her husband for purpose of limiting number of children, the anguish by such unwanted pregnancy may be presumed to constitute grave injury to the mental health of pregnant woman.

The single bench of Justice Vivek Rusia placed reliance on a recent judgment passed by the Apex Court in the case of Z V/s. State of Bihar, (2018) 11 SCC 572 wherein the victim was suffering from AIDS desiring to terminate the pregnancy on account of rape committed on her within the statutory limit of 20 weeks of pregnancy. The termination of pregnancy was not carried out within 20 weeks because of the fault on part of the Medical authorities, therefore, the Apex Court has awarded the compensation of Rs.10,00,000/- in favour of victim.

In the instant case the Court held that, as per the provision of Section 3 admittedly the petitioner is not entitled for termination of pregnancy. The only reason given by the petitioner for termination is that the boy friend has broken up the relationship with her. In future there may be a possibility of re-association between them but the termination of pregnancy is irreversible process. The petitioner came up with the plea of breaking of relationship after the expiry of 22-24 weeks, had she been approached immediately after initial of the pregnancy the Medical Practitioner would have terminate the pregnancy or this Court would have permitted to terminate the pregnancy and thus dismissed the petition.

-India Legal Bureau

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