Rape victim has a right to terminate her pregnancy, subject to the conditions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971: Uttarakhand HC

Rape victim has a right to terminate her pregnancy, subject to the conditions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971: Uttarakhand HC

The Uttarakhand High Court stated that Rape victim has a right to terminate her pregnancy, subject to the conditions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

Background 

The case of the petitioner is that the petitioner, aged about 16 years, is a rape victim. An FIR was lodged, at Revenue Police Station, Chamoli, against named accused under Section 376 of IPC and Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual OffencesAct, 2012. The medical examination of the petitioner was conducted. She was advised on the Obstetrical Ultrasound (Sonography) test, which confirmed that she had a Single Live Intrauterine Fetus of 27 weeks 4 days (+) 15 days.

Argument

Advocate Monika Pant, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the petitioner shall suffer mental injury if the pregnancy is continued and there will be multiple problems if the child is born alive.

Decision 

The single judge bench of Justice Alok Kumar Verma said that if the petitioner is compelled to continue with her pregnancy, it would infringe her right to live with human dignity, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. 

The court stated that there is a right to termination pregnancy on ground of rape. A rape victim has a right to make a choice to carry. She has also the right not to carry pregnancy subject to the conditions as enumerated under the provisions of the Act.

The Court considered it appropriate in the interest of justice to permit the petitioner to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy under the provisions of the Act.

The court directed that the medical termination of pregnancy of the petitioner should be carried out by a senior most Gynecologist under the guidance of the Medical Board, constituted in compliance of the order of the Court, within 48 hours from the production of a copy of the order before the Chief Medical Officer, Chamoli.

The court added that during the procedure of medical termination, if they find any risk to the life of the petitioner, they have discretion to cancel the said procedure.

Case title: Ms. X (minor) through her father v/s State of Uttarakhand and Ors.

Citation: WRIT PETITION NO.201 of 2022 (M/S)

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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