Allahabad HC says forcing woman to give birth to child as result of rape can lead to miserytext_fields
Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh: The Allahabad High Court has ruled that forcing a woman to give birth to a child she conceived as a consequence of a sexual assault would result in "unexplainable miseries." In order to examine a 12-year-old deaf and mute rape survivor who has asked for permission to end her 25-week pregnancy, a five-member medical board will be formed, a bench made up of justices Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and Prashant Kumar directed last week.
The girl's counsel had last week argued that she was raped and sexually assaulted several times by her neighbour but due to her disabilities, she could not tell anyone about it.
After her mother firmly questioned her, the girl used sign language to reveal to her that she had been raped by their neighbour.
On the basis of her mother's complaint, an FIR was then filed against the man under charges of rape and other offences under the POCSO Act.
When the girl was medically examined on June 16, 2023, she was found to be 23 weeks into her pregnancy.
On June 27, the matter was placed before the Medical Board, which told the girl that since her pregnancy had exceeded 24 weeks, she would need court permission to abort the child.
The court, after hearing the parties concerned, said, "Though the statute does not provide for termination of pregnancies over the gestational age of 24 weeks except in case of detection of substantial fetal abnormalities, the provision in regard to which is Section 3(2B) of MTP Act.
"The extraordinary powers of the Constitutional Courts, however, have been recognised even by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India and exercised several times by the High Courts to allow termination of pregnancies even in cases where pregnancy has exceeded the limit of 24 weeks." Considering the urgency in the matter and taking a humanitarian view, the Court requested the Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor to direct the Principal of Jawahar Lal Medical College in Aligarh to constitute a five-member team.
The team, to be headed by the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Department of Anaesthesia, and Department of Radio Diagnosis, will examine the petitioner and submit its report before the Court on July 12.
With PTI inputs