Mumbai News: HC Permits Minor To Undergo MTP For Her Welfare And Safety

Mumbai News: HC Permits Minor To Undergo MTP For Her Welfare And Safety

12-year-old girl sexually assaulted by her brother who was 14 years old and she also was threatened with dire consequences.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, May 13, 2024, 11:34 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

Observing that the welfare and safety of the minor are of paramount importance, the Bombay High Court on Monday permitted a 12-year-old girl, who was sexually assaulted by her brother, 14, to undergo medical termination of pregnancy (MTP).The court permitted the termination of pregnancy after state advocate Jyoti Chavan submitted report by the medical board of JJ Hospital which “unequivocally” recommended medical termination of pregnancy considering the “impact and repercussions of the pregnancy on the general and mental health of the pregnant person”, especially in this case where the pregnant person is a sexual assault survivor"

The report read, “The pregnancy will have a grievous injury to the mental and physical health of the patient if continued. The pregnancy can be terminated on humanitarian grounds.”

The report was submitted under HC order on May 11 while hearing a petition filed by the minor’s mother, through advocate Ashley Cusher, seeking permission to perform MTP as her daughter’s pregnancy has crossed the 24-week legal limit for termination.

On May 2, the daughter complained about a stomach ache. At the health centre, her pregnancy was confirmed. The girl then revealed that from October 2023, when no one was at home, her elder brother used to forcefully establish a physical relationship with her. He threatened her with dire consequences.

High Court Allows Minor To Undergo MTP In Sexual Assault Case

On the mother’s complaint, an FIR was lodged the same day under the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) against the son and he was sent to a juvenile home.

The high court noted that the minor was unaware of the fact that she was pregnant until a very late stage. “The Medical Board has opined that the pregnancy will have grievous injury to mental and physical health of the patient, if continued,” a vacation bench of Justices Sandeep Marne and Neela Gokhale said.

Hence, the bench permitted the girl to undergo MTP, “bearing in mind the exigencies of the situation, the welfare of the minor which is of paramount importance and her safety”.

HC Directs Preservation Of Foetus And DNA Samples In Sexual Assault Case

Considering that the case is of a sexual assault case, the HC has directed the authorities to preserve the appropriate tissue sample of the foetus and DNA sample and forward these to the investigating officer for the ensuing criminal trial.

Post-termination, if any further medical care is required, this should be ensured in the interest of the girl, the bench said. Also, “considering the age of the pregnant person”, the HC has asked the JJ Hospital to provide her counselling after completion of procedure for termination of pregnancy.  

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