The Bombay High Court on Thursday allowed a 14-year-old rape victim to terminate her 24-week pregnancy.
A division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and Revati Mohite-Dere noted that the pregnancy was allegedly the result of a rape, and hence the anguish caused by such a pregnancy may lead to a grave injury to the girl’s mental health.
The girl had approached the court in December last year seeking permission to terminate her then 22-week pregnancy.
The high court on December 26 directed that a panel of doctors from the state-run J J Hospital in Mumbai should examine her and submit a report on whether the termination of pregnancy was advisable.
Passing its order on Thursday, the court took note of the medical report which said that the pregnancy could be terminated.
Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, abortion beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy is prohibited. The act provides for constitution of committees to look into cases where the pregnancy beyond this period is sought to be terminated.
However, as the state government has not formed these committees so far, women have to move the high court in such cases.
The girl had lodged a complaint with the suburban Mankhurd police on December 1 last year alleging that she was raped by a man living in her neighbourhood.
The accused was subsequently arrested for rape under the Indian Penal Code as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.