Following a rap from the Bombay High Court last month regarding 45 delays in medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) of a minor rape survivor which resulted in her giving birth, the Maharashtra government informed that the newborn was “sufficiently healthy” and was shifted to Special Adoptive Agency.
The government also informed the HC that it had issued a Government Resolution (GR) on January 3 regarding the steps and procedures to be followed by police in such cases of crimes against women and children.
Last month, the HC had pulled up the Virar police for failing to take necessary steps to produce the 16-year-old before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on time. The minor’s mother had lodged a complaint on September 30, 2021, regarding her missing daughter. She was found on October 2 and medical examination showed that she was 23.4 weeks pregnant. However, the police produced her before the CWC, Palghar only on November 16 by when her pregnancy was nearly of 30 weeks. The police said that they were busy with the Diwali bandobast.
Under the Act, MTP can be carried out within 24 weeks. If the pregnancy is more than that then permission has to be taken from the HC.
The minor was admitted to JJ Hospital on November 22 and she delivered a child on November 25.
The HC had then directed that the government to take necessary care of the child and provide compensation to the survivor.
On Friday, the HC noted: “We are informed that the new born infant has been found to be in sufficiently stable health and has been shifted to a Special Adoptive Agency called Children of the World at Nerul, Thane on 29th December 2021.”
Also, preliminary compensation has been disbursed to the survivor. The HC has directed the government to expedite the process of payment of final compensation, which will be according to the procedure established.
Advocate General also informed the HC that the concerned police officers had undergone “special training” and further steps were in contemplation.
According to the GR, if the victim is a minor then the complaint must be recorded in his/her own language, in his/her own words, in front of the victim, his/her relatives, and a female Sub-Inspector of Police. It further contemplated that medical examination must be done swiftly.
Also, the child must be reported to CWC or a special juvenile court within 24 hours is required under POCSO Act.
Each police station should have an Independent Child Welfare Police Officer.
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