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HC summons cops who allegedly didn’t help a pregnant woman

The Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government to produce before it a woman who, as she suffered labour pains and eventually delivered a baby on a local train, was refused help by two police constables.

The division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka also asked the government to keep the two constables present, so they may present their side of the story.

Human Rights Law Network, an NGO, has filed a public interest litigation over the incident, saying that this kind of callousness contributes to high mortality rate among pregnant women.

It alleges that the woman, Arya Khan, was not taken in by any of the civic hospitals because she was not carrying ‘below the poverty line’ card.

According to Khan, she sought help from two constables at Vashi railway station after she went into labour, but they did not help her.

Government pleader Niranjan Pandit argued that hospitals did not admit her as it was not an emergency situation. According to the procedure, unless the BPL card is produced, hospitals can’t offer treatment, he said.

The court said it would seek first-hand information from the lady and the constables tomorrow.

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