AT a time when the High Court is functioning with limited resources due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bombay High Court on May 26 came to the rescue of a-13-years old minor girl who was sexually abused by her father, by permitting her to go ahead with the medical termination of her pregnancy.
A division bench comprising Justices Nitin Jamdar and N R Borkar also ordered that the hospital would preserve the blood sample and tissue sample of the fetus to carry out necessary medical tests, including DNA and other tests.
Petitioner had contended that while she was residing with her aunt at Thane, was sexually abused by her father which has led to her being pregnant. An FIR was lodged at Thane Police Station on May 17.
On May 19, 2020, the minor had sonography done when she was found to be twenty-two weeks pregnant. At J.J. Hospital, Mumbai, she was informed that as the fetus is over 20 weeks old, medical termination of pregnancy was not permissible under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
The court on May 22 directed the medical board to examine the minor and submit the report before it as to whether it was advisable to permit the medical termination of pregnancy.
Based on the opinion of the medical board and the desire of the minor girl, the high court observed:
“Having considered the opinion of the Medical Board that the continuation of the pregnancy will be a physical and mental stress for the minor mother, the stand the Petitioner and the minor, and the circumstances leading to the pregnancy, it would be necessary to permit the medical termination of pregnancy”.
The court added an FIR has been filed, and thus the tissues, blood sample of the fetus need to be preserved for the requisite medical test, including DNA Fingerprinting/mapping.
“In case the child born out of this procedure is alive, the Medical Practitioner conducting the procedure shall ensure that all necessary facilities are provided to such child for saving its life. If the child born is alive and Petitioner and her daughter are not willing to or not in a position to take responsibility of such child, the State and its agencies will have to assume full responsibility for such child”, the court said.
Wasim Syed, a first friend of the family of the victim, came to know about this incident when he enquired from a lady crying on the road. Speaking to The Leaflet, Wasim said that the family of the victim lived on the footpath and had no one to help. He, therefore, along with his roommate decided to help them with some money for medical expenses and also told her to file an FIR with the police, which they did.
He further said he got in touch with a lawyer friend who put him in touch with advocate Ajay Kumar, who took swift action and explained the procedure. Wasim further told Ajay Kumar got advocate Sangram Chinappa involved in the case who agreed to argue the matter for the minor girl.