July 25, 2016 8:06:55 pm
Hours after the Supreme Court allowed an alleged rape survivor to abort her 24-week-old ‘abnormal’ foetus, the Delhi High Court on Monday directed a medical panel to be set up to examine the case of another alleged victim who has sought termination of her 24 to 26-week-old pregnancy.
The apex court gave benefit of exception in law under section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, which allows abortion after 20 weeks only in case if there is grave danger to the life of a mother, after a medical board said that continuance of pregnancy would gravely endanger the physical and mental health of the mother.
In the high court, since no conclusive report was received from the medical board of Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital which had examined the minor girl, Justice A K Pathak directed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to set up a four-member panel comprising of three senior gynaecologists and one psychiatrist to examine the victim.
The DDU panel was set up on the high court’s order.
Justice Pathak directed the Medical Superintendent of AIIMS set up the panel which would examine the 16-and-a-half year-old girl to assess whether there is a serious threat to her life, based on her mental and physical state, if the pregnancy was not terminated.
The panel is to also examine how old the foetus is and whether an abortion would be a threat to the mother’s life.
If termination of pregnancy was found to be necessary then the procedure be performed, the court said while adding that in case of no unanimous view, the majority view would prevail.
The court also directed that tissue samples of the foetus be taken if the pregnancy is terminated and directed the girl to visit AIIMS medical panel on July 27 morning.
It directed the government to make arrangements for her stay at the hospital if her pregnancy was to be terminated.
With these directions, the court disposed of the plea moved by the victim’s father seeking termination of the pregnancy.
Additional Standing Counsel for the Delhi government Nandita Rao said that police has arrested two persons in connection with the alleged kidnap and rape of the minor.
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