Pregnancy resulting from rape involves grave mental injury and hence, can be terminated without prior permission of court

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Allowing the plea of the petitioner (minor appearing through her guardian) wanting to medically terminate her pregnancy that resulted due to rape being committed upon her, the Court directed the District Medical Officer, Hisar to constitute a committee of 2 doctors to examine her and get her pregnancy terminated if she is in the right state of health. The Court referring an earlier case on this point reiterated the directions stating that in case where a rape victim irrespective of the fact that whether she is major or minor, if found pregnant and does not want to retain the foetus, then such pregnancy must be treated as involving grave mental injury and medical assistance shall be provided and the feasibility of terminating such pregnancy shall be considered.

In the instant case the victim’s request to medically terminate her pregnancy was rejected by the Court of JMIC, Hisar on the grounds that there is no legal provision to entertain such application. The petitioner was represented by P.K. Chugh.

Commenting upon the refusal by JMIC, the Court stated that in cases similar to the present case the victim should not be harassed by asking her to take permission from the courts as the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act does not lay down such a procedure. The Court further observed that if a plea of termination of pregnancy by a rape victim is made then it should be dealt with utmost sensitivity. Vijender v. State of Haryana, CWP No.20783 of 2014, decided on 07.10.2014

To read the full judgment, refer SCCOnLine

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