The Bombay High Court on Friday allowed a minor rape victim to terminate her pregnancy of 22 weeks and said in cases of minors, police must take prompt action so no time is lost.
A Division Bench of Justices Naresh Patil and G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a plea filed by the mother of a 16-year-old victim of alleged rape and sexual abuse.
Beyond 20-week ceiling
The mother moved the court seeking permission to terminate her daughter’s pregnancy which goes beyond the stipulated ceiling of 20 weeks for abortion under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
On July 12, the Bench had constituted a committee of experts at KEM Hospital of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to examine the victim. The committee, consisting of the Dean of the hospital as the Chairman, two gynaeceologists, a psychiatrist, physician, anaesthetist and sonologist, submitted a report on the matter.
On perusing the report, the Bench directed that the pregnancy be terminated but said that the police must take immediate steps in cases where minors, who are victims of sexual assault, are pregnant.