Gujarat High Court grants relief to minor

The High Court of Gujarat recently allowed a request by a minor rape victim to terminate her 6-week pregnancy, on the grounds that if the pregnancy continued, it would cause her lifelong mental agony coupled with socio-economic problems. economic.

Pthe petitioner is pregnant due to forced rape by the accused… due to the continuation of the pregnancy, this would cause or constitute serious mental harm to the minor’s mental health – victim coupled with the fact that carrying and raising a child in its mother’s womb creates great mental agony for its entire life and invites many other socio-economic problems. This can be considered a serious mental health attack on the pregnant woman.

Judge Vipul Pancholi was hearing the petition filed by a 17-year-old rape victim. The same has been authorized in accordance with Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021.

The judge noted that under section 3 of the MTP Act 2021, when the duration of pregnancy does not exceed 12 weeks, the licensed physician and when that duration of pregnancy exceeds 12 weeks but does not exceed 20 weeks , two doctors can terminate the pregnancy. But they must form an opinion that the continuation of the pregnancy would entail a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or serious harm to the physical life of the pregnant woman or serious harm to her physical or mental health or that there is a substantial risk that if the child is born it suffers from physical or mental abnormalities such that it is severely disabled.

The brief facts of the case were that the accused abducted the petitioner and raped her, following which an FIR was filed against him under sections 363, 366, 376(n) of the ICC and the articles 4, 5(L), 6, 8 and 12 of the POCSO law. The victim was found to be 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant and in severe mental agony. The applicant’s father therefore produced a letter of consent on her behalf to terminate her pregnancy.

The applicant claimed that the pregnancy would cause serious damage to her mental health and therefore she should be allowed to terminate it. We relied on Ms Z v Bihar State (2018) 11 SCC 572 to show that in case of pregnancy of 12 weeks, the authorization of abortion could be granted. The defendant authorities were also requested to carry out the medical termination of pregnancy with two qualified surgeons, including a gynecologist, an obstetrician and others, in order to avoid any physical harm.

The Chamber took note of the opinion of the medical advisors issued with reference to the victim after his medical examination in accordance with article 3 of the MTP law. She claimed that after medical examination of the victim, doctors were of the opinion that she could undergo TPM with a risk of complications (haemorrhage, retained product of conception and infection). It was also recommended by the doctors that the operation be carried out without delay for the benefit of the Applicant.

Considering the applicant’s state of health and the precedents that preceded it, the Court granted the prayer “in order to save and protect the life of the applicant – victim.” The doctors were ordered to terminate the pregnancy with due risk after the ANC profile report and hand over, in a scientific manner, the tissues taken from the fetus for DNA identification to the investigating officer as well.

Case title: ABC (victim) v State of Gujarat

Case No.: R/SCR.A/2814/2022

Click here to read/download the order

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