Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday asked a panel of doctors to clarify its stand in the case of a 25 weeks pregnant woman and give a “positive and firm” opinion whether abortion should be allowed owing to a risk to the foetus.

A Division Bench of Justices P.B. Majumdar and Amjad Sayed passed the order as the report submitted by the panel on Friday was contradictory, supporting the contention of the petitioner for abortion and opposing it at the same time.

Niketa and Haresh Mehta along with their doctor Nikhil Datar had moved the High Court seeking permission to abort the foetus as it had a congenital complete heart block. The couple, coming from a middle class background, told the court that the pacemaker which costs about Rs. 1 lakh had a limited life. Changing the pacemaker every five years was not economically viable for the family. Also, life would be traumatic not only for the couple but also for the child.

The court had earlier ordered the Dean of the State-run JJ hospital to set up a panel of three experts to examine Niketa and submit its opinion to the court.

The report submitted on Friday stated that “sonography report shows that the foetus has a congenital complete heart block,” but opined that abortion was not necessary. — PTI

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