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‘Child a Testimony to Her Bruised Body and Soul’: HC Allows Abortion for 26-Week Pregnant Minor Rape Survivor

By: Salil Tiwari

Edited By: Manjiri Joshi

LawBeat

Last Updated: November 28, 2022, 18:23 IST

New Delhi, India

The court observed that if the child gets born, as an unwanted child, it is likely that either he/she will live a tormenting life filled with taunts to his/her origin or be given away.

The court observed that if the child gets born, as an unwanted child, it is likely that either he/she will live a tormenting life filled with taunts to his/her origin or be given away.

"The pregnancy is an outcome of violation of the minor….The child, if born, is not a reminder of good memories, but shall be a reminder of trauma and agony she had to undergo," the Punjab and Haryana High Court held

The child is a testimony to her bruised body and soul, said the Punjab and Haryana High Court allowing a 26-week pregnant minor to terminate her pregnancy borne out of her rape. The court noted that the minor and her family had already expressed their unwillingness to raise the child.

A bench of Justice Vinod S Bhardwaj said, “It can also not be lost sight of the fact that the pregnancy is an outcome of violation of the minor….The child, if born, is not a reminder of good memories, but shall be a reminder of trauma and agony she had to undergo".

The court observed that if the child gets born, as an unwanted child, it is likely that either he/she will live a tormenting life filled with taunts to his/her origin or be given away. “In either of the said situation, the mother as well as the child will suffer social stigma and incarceration for rest of their lives," the court said.

Stressing that denial of dignity and social as well as family acceptance or approval will compound the agony of the child and lead to greater injustice, the court held it more prudent to allow the termination of pregnancy.

FIR FILED LAST MONTH

The minor moved a plea through her father seeking issuance of a direction to the respondent authorities to terminate her pregnancy in view of the provision of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. As the pregnancy was more than 24 weeks old, the minor was bound to approach the High Court.

The counsel for the petitioner apprised the court that the minor was raped. An FIR was also registered last month under sections 363, 366-A, 376, 450 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 4 and 17 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, Act, 2012. The counsel contended that the minor being dependent on her parents was not in a situation to take care of the child in case she gives birth.

The Medical Board of Government Medical College & Hospital in Mewat had also found the minor fit for termination of pregnancy.

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first published:November 28, 2022, 18:20 IST
last updated:November 28, 2022, 18:23 IST
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