Mumbai: Taking cognizance of a report forwarded by a sessions court Judge regarding the case of an undertrial woman prisoner seeking a Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP), the Bombay High Court has sought the stand of the State government on the issue. A division bench of Justice Vijaya Tahilramani and Justice Mridula Bhatkar took up suomoto public interest litigation (PIL) on Friday.
The PIL has come up as a result of the report submitted by special Judge Anju Shende, who was on her fortnightly visit to the Byculla women’s prison to inspect the proper functioning of the administration and other works, in April, this year.
During the visit, the special Judge was approached by one woman prisoner, who requested for a MTP. The woman told the special Judge that she has a five-month old prematurely born baby and that the baby is suffering from attacks of Epilepsy.
Citing the health concerns of her baby, the woman prisoner requested for the MTP. Accordingly, the special Judge Anju Shende ordered for the woman’s medical tests and submitted her report to the Bombay High Court.
On Friday, when the matter came up before the bench headed by Justice Tahilramani, the bench directed Usha Kejriwal, the state public prosecutor, to take instructions from concerned departments on what needs to be done when a woman inmate is in need of an MTP procedure.
What Law says..
Subject to the provisions of sub-section (4) of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, a pregnancy may be terminated by a registered medical practitioner if the length or the period of the pregnancy does not exceed twelve weeks or twenty weeks.