Delhi High Court’s division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has allowed a woman to undergo medical termination, despite her pregnancy having entered the 23rd week. The bench allowed this because of serious abnormalities detected in the foetus by the hospital and then confirmed by a medical board of AIIMS.
The petitioner’s counsel, Ms Sneha Mukherjee, categorically stated that her client has been made fully aware of the situation, including the condition of her foetus and the possible risk in case termination of pregnancy is to be allowed at this stage. She said her client was willing to undertake the risk of termination of her pregnancy, because she does not desire to allow the pregnancy to continue, given the condition of the foetus.
On July 10 the court had directed the AIIMS to constitute a board of doctors and evaluate the petitioner urgently and report back to the court. The report submitted by AIIMS states:
“The petitioner is at 23 weeks and 1 day of pregnancy by LMP, which corresponds to Ultrasound report.
· The board members reviewed the ultrasound reports conducted in AIIMS on 11.07.2020. The ultrasound is suggestive of large lumbar myelomeningocele with dilated ventricles likely Arnold Chiari Malformations type II. POG by ultrasound is 22 weeks 6 days. This type of malformation likely to have will have significant morbidities in later life.
· There is no contraindication from psychiatric point of view at this point of time
· There is no increased risk if the medical termination of pregnancy is performed at this stage.”
The High Court while granting permission relied on the judgments of Supreme Court in Tapasya Umesh Pisal v. Union of India and Mrs. X v. Union of India.
Read the order here;High-Court-Judgment
-India Legal Bureau