Bombay HC Allows Minor Rape Victim To Deliver Baby In Govt State Home

Bombay HC Allows Minor Rape Victim To Deliver Baby In Govt State Home

The court was hearing a petition filed by the girl’s mother seeking to admit the girl in a state home so that she can deliver the child in a “neutral surrounding”.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Sunday, March 10, 2024, 10:32 AM IST
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Bombay HC | File

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has allowed a minor rape survivor, who is 35+ weeks pregnant, to get admitted in a government state home for “safe delivery” of the child. The court, early this year, had refused to permit the girl to undergo medical termination of the pregnancy considering the risk to her life and long-term neurological complications for the baby if born alive.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the girl’s mother seeking to admit the girl in a state home so that she can deliver the child in a “neutral surrounding”.

The minor was raped by a neighbour while her parents were at work. An FIR was registered on February 3 under IPC and POCSO.

Victim's Mother Approached HC Seeking Assistance

Her mother approached the HC seeking permission for medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) of the minor. The medical board opined on February 15 said there is no abnormality in the foetus and the minor mother. However, it stated that there is a strong possibility of premature live birth. This could cause neurological complications in the newborn, which might lead to long-term disability.

Based on the board’s opinion, the HC had refused MTP on February 16. The Supreme Court upheld the high court’s order. The mother submitted before the SC that since it is a case of accidental pregnancy, the victim and her family are “facing unpleasant social situations in the locality where they reside”. Hence they sought permission to approach the HC, even before the birth of a child, to “address the issue of safe delivery with the state’s aid in a neutral surrounding”. The apex court accordingly granted the liberty.

Hence, the mother once again approached the HC, through advocates Pooja Phagnekar and Ashley Cusher, seeking state aid for safe delivery of the child.

State advocate MP Thakur said that government state homes provide facilities to support girls and women of all ages (16 to 60 years) and meet a range of needs of the survivors: basic necessities, like shelter, medical aid and legal assistance, police complaint, counselling and emotional support. They even provide support to minor pregnant girls.

A bench of Justices PD Naik and NR Borkar, on March 7, while permitting the minor to get admitted in a state home, asked the government to provide compensation under the Manodhairya Scheme.

“The facilities as per the Manodhairya Scheme shall be provided to the victim as expeditiously as possible,” the bench concluded.

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