Matrimonial discord not a ground for termination of a 23-week old pregnancy

High Court of Judicature at Bombay: A Division Bench of Shantanu Kemkar and Nitin W. Sambre, JJ., dismissed a writ petition seeking the termination of a 23-week old pregnancy, on grounds that the termination was not satisfying the pre-requisites under Section 3 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (‘Act’), and also, no medical documents were brought before the court to satisfy the applicability of Section 5 of the Act.

The petitioner had pleaded that as she was suffering from epilepsy and also wanted to further continue her studies, she intended to terminate her pregnancy, with divorce being considered as one of the main grounds for such termination. The respondent however contended that, no medical advice was found showing imminent danger to the health of the petitioner on non-termination of the pregnancy. The Court relied on Suchita Srivastava v. Chandigarh Administration, (2009) 9 SCC 1 and Z v. State of Bihar, (2018) 11 SCC 572, where it was held that, the provisions of the Act are reasonable restrictions to the reproduction choice of a woman guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The Court further observed that, the said provisions of the Act cannot be invoked since the requisite conditions (as provided under the Act) were not met, and hence held that, the petitioner cannot be allowed to terminate her pregnancy on ground of matrimonial discord. [Neelam Choudhary v. Union of India, Writ Petition No. 6430 of 2018, dated 19-06-2018]

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