Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has said that living a dignified life with an illegitimate child would be difficult for a woman, especially, a rape victim, in the society. The HC has accordingly permitted a rape victim to abort her pregnancy while observing that the right to life also include living a dignified life.

A bench of Justice Vijay Achliya granted permission to a minor girl, to abort her foetus, which is beyond the 20 weeks frame. According to the petition, the girl got acquainted with a man, who became her friend for some time and later raped her at a secluded place.

She later on conceived and her attempt to persuade the accused to marry her so that the child could be a legitimate one, failed as he refused to tie the knot. Subsequently, the accused was arrested by the Osmanabad police under charges of rape and the POCSO act.

In her plea, the girl, said, "It would be difficult for me to give birth to child born out of illegitimate relationship and forcible intercourse. Its birth would cause a grave injury to my mental health and would ruin my future," the girl contended.

Justice Achliya while permitting the girl to abort her pregnancy, took into consideration the medical board's report, which stated that continuation of pregnancy and birth of child would affect the mental and social health of the mother, so she should be permitted to abort the pregnancy on humanitarian and social ground.

"She is carrying undesired pregnancy on account of her sexual exploitation by the accused. It will be difficult for her to live with dignity in the society with illegitimate child," Justice Achliya observed.

"The right to life includes the right to live with dignity as contemplated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In order to protect her dignity, it is desirable that in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, the girl being carrying pregnancy caused by rape, which presumes to constitute a grave injury to her mental health, the permission as sought to terminate the undesired pregnancy, deserves to be granted," Justice Achliya held.

The bench further issued a directive to the Osmanabad Police to approach the medical board to preserve the sample of the foetus for the purpose of investigation including DNA test.

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