Grave risk of life found in terminating pregnancy of a minor with 28 weeks pregnancy

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rakesh Kumar Jain, J., refused to grant permission to terminate pregnancy of a 14-year minor girl.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner was father of a minor girl of 14 years of age who was raped and an FIR was filed against the accused under Section 6 of the POCSO Act, 2012 and Sections 376(3) and 506 of Penal Code. As soon as pregnancy of the minor came into light the petitioner approached the Court for termination of 28 weeks pregnancy in accordance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 wherein permission of Court is required if the pregnancy is of more than 20 weeks. Question before Court was whether if pregnancy of the minor is terminated, there would be danger to life of minor or not. Director, PGIMS Rohtak gave opinion according to which if pregnancy is terminated, there could be grave risk to minor’s life. Accordingly, Court in the instant petition refused to permit termination of pregnancy. Petitioner asked for directions in light of the case of Shewata v. State of Haryana, 2015 SCC OnLine P&H 20442 wherein termination of pregnancy of a girl was rejected but directions were given by Court for the welfare of the girl.

The High Court, therefore, issued directions to the Director, PGIMS Rohtak for the welfare of the minor. Some of the important directions are given here for reference.

  • Direction to admit minor as an indoor patient with a private room.
  • Minor was to be given medicines, food, clothes and other facility and during delivery, minor should be personally monitored by the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
  • Authorities of Medical College to ensure privacy and non-discloser of her name to the public.

With the above directions, the petition was disposed of by the Court. [Sikander v. State of Haryana, CWP No.21291 of 2018, decided on 28-08-2018]

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