Punjab and Haryana High Court: Tejinder Singh Dhindsa, J. allowed a writ petition filed by the petitioner to allow her to medically terminate her pregnancy.

The petitioner was duly examined by a Medical Board at Rajindra Hospital on 20-08-2019. The Principal of Government Medical College, Patiala had referred the case of the petitioner to Rajindra Hospital through which a board of four doctors was constituted by the Medical Superintendent on 14-08-2019 comprising of the Associate Professor, Gynae Department, Associate Professor, Pediatrics Department, Associate Professor, Forensic Medicine Department and Assistant Professor, Radiodiagnosis Department. The Medical Board so constituted examined the petitioner and submitted a report to the Court stating the following:

  • According to the ultrasound, report fetus had ‘Alobar holoprosencephaly’ with gestational age according to femur length as 24 weeks 3 days.
  • The Board of Doctors was of the unanimous opinion that the pregnancy had crossed 24 weeks period of gestation.
  • But the ultrasound report showed an abnormal development of fetal brain which would result in the birth of the baby with future bodily abnormalities and physical handicap as well as grave injury to the mental health of the mother as well as of the family.
  • Keeping in view the above-noted circumstances and facts, MTP, in this case, was advised and recommended but under directions from a competent Court of law.

On the perusal of the report submitted, the Court referred to Section 3 of the Medical Termination and Pregnancy Act, 1971 and held that the case of the petitioner would fall under Section 3(2)(b)(ii) but for the time period embargo of 20 weeks. There was a clear opinion given by the Medical Board of four senior doctors which clearly stated that the foetus was suffering from a serious medical condition and the prognosis was poor. The Court allowed the writ petition keeping in mind the well being of the mother.[Seema Rani v. State of Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1783, decided on 20-09-2019]

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