Madhya Pradesh HC allows termination of 24-week pregnancy of minor rape victim

The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently disposing of the petition, allowed termination of pregnancy of a minor rape victim.

A single-judge bench of Justice Nandita Dubey has heard the petition of a minor girl who is 24 weeks pregnant and approached the High Court through her father.

On 08.05.2021, the Court has directed the Govt. Advocate to get the victim examined by a team of doctors and submit the medical report as to whether the pregnancy can be safely terminated at this stage.

After the examination of the victim by the team of three Doctors , they have opined that till the point of examination, the victim does not have any complications associated with or caused by pregnancy and can undergo MTP by Medical Abortion Method or MVA as per the MTP Act, 1971 after admission in the hospital under closed supervision of Gynecologist.

The victim has also been interviewed in detail by Dr. O.P. Raichandani, Professor Designate, Dept. of Psychiatry, who has opined that the child is anxious and not eager to continue with the pregnancy.

In view of the opinion of the doctors dated 12.05.2021, the Court directed that the respondents shall undertake steps to immediately terminate the pregnancy of victim/petitioner in a government hospital/college under the supervision of the experts. The victim would also be provided all the necessary facilities and care in the government medical college/hospital. It would be the duty of the respondent authorities to provide the best and safest medical assistance to the victim, for undertaking the exercise of termination of pregnancy.

The Court further directed the Respondent Authorities to ensure that the DNA sample of the foetus and the consequent reports thereof shall be duly preserved in accordance with the provisions of law so that the same would be legally admissible and available for future reference in the criminal case that has been filed by the victim/petitioner.

It is clarified by the Court that directions are issued on the clear and unequivocal undertaking and statement made by the counsel for the Petitioner, on personal instructions of the Petitioner and her guardian (father) that they are willing to take full risk for undertaking medical termination of pregnancy and that they expressly indemnify and exonerate the respondent authorities, doctors and all others involved, of any responsibility or liability in respect of the outcome of the same.

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“Exercise of termination of pregnancy may be taken up by the respondent authorities with active and positive assistance by the petitioner, as early as possible, preferably within three days, after the victim/petitioner and her father/guardian file an affidavit, giving their consent in this regard before the respondent authorities,” the order read.
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