Rape victim moves HC over unwanted pregnancy

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Sep 2018 12:38:25


Staff Reporter,

Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has constituted a special medical panel to examine a victim of rape from Butibori and opine whether the unwanted pregnancy which is beyond 20th week can be safely terminated.

The victim-girl, who is barely 16 years old was subjected to brutal rape by a habitual offender and fed up by this torture she started avoiding him. However, the goon abducted her on August 18 and once again subjected her to rape. Her parents immediately rushed to Butibori and lodged a complaint against the perpetrator. He was nabbed for rape, kidnapping and under relevant provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. After medical examination it became clear that her pregnancy was beyond 20 weeks. Her mother admitted her in a private hospital for termination of pregnancy, but the doctors refused to abort citing stringent rules under MTP Act.

Left with no choice, the mother has knocked the doors of High Court to allow her daughter to abort the unwanted pregnancy which is 20 weeks and 3 days old. Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 termination of pregnancy is permitted upto 20 weeks, if the pregnancy is caused due to rape, among other genuine reasons.

A division bench consisting of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Murlidhar Giratkar, while directing constitution of a medical board consists of experts from Departments of Gyanaecology and Obstetrics, Paediatrics, Radiology/ Sonology, Cardiology, Pulmonology, Neurology, Genetics, Pathology, Administration, etc. The victim girl has been asked to appear before the Board on Saturday morning. The High Court has directed the Board to submit its report on Monday for consideration of the court. Adv Chinmay S Dharmadhikari appeared for the petitioner. AGP Ketaki Joshi (State), Adv Mugdha Chandurkar (Union Health Ministry) represented respondents.