Updated on: Saturday, January 01, 2022, 11:27 PM IST

FPJ Legal: Bombay HC raps Maharashtra govt for not setting up medical boards to look at cases of women seeking to terminate pregnancy beyond 24 weeks

Bombay HC  | Photo: Representative Image

Bombay HC | Photo: Representative Image


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday slammed the Maharashtra government for failing to constitute district-wise medical boards to examine pregnant women looking to abort their pregnancies beyond 24 weeks.

The HC ordered the state to constitute such medical boards forthwith. A vacation bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav issued the directive while allowing a 30-year-old woman to terminate her 25 weeks pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.

The bench noted that the woman sought to abort her pregnancy on the ground that it was having certain anomalies, which will affect the growth of the brain and overall body of the child.

The bench had referred the woman to a medical board comprising experts of the J J Hospital. The board in its report said that the pregnancy, if allowed to continue, would have a direct impact on the woman's psychology for a lifetime.

Accordingly, the judges allowed her to undergo an abortion at the J J hospital. However, the bench noted that there were no such medical boards, constituted in the state by the government despite a clear cut provision for it in the MTP law.

“Though required to constitute medical boards under the law, the state has not done so, thus far. The failure of the state government to do so not only causes hardship to women seeking medical termination of pregnancy but also increases the number of petitions filed for such purpose,” the bench noted.

“The state should therefore forthwith proceed to constitute medical boards, as the same will result in providing efficacious redressal to women seeking medical termination of pregnancy with foetal abnormalities,” the bench ordered.

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Published on: Saturday, January 01, 2022, 11:27 PM IST