Jharkhand High Court: While deciding the instant petition, Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi, J., directed the State Legal Services Authority to ensure that the State Government compensates the minor gang rape victim having 100% visual impairment, an amount of Rs. 10 Lakh and directed the State Government to establish Rehabilitation Centre for such victims.
The instant petition is based on an FIR lodged against the accused. The charge-sheet was filed before the court of the Additional Judicial Commissioner, Special Judge under Sections 376(2)(f)/376(2)(i)/376(3) of the Penal Code and Sections 4 and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (‘POCSO’) Act, 2012.
A blind minor girl was gang raped in the year 2018 by her own family members, including her brother and uncle. The petition has been filed after finding her being pregnant praying for a shelter home to her for her safety and security. The prayer has also been made for direction of constituting a Medical Board for termination of the fetus and to appoint a senior female medical practitioner and social worker to take care of minor.
Seeing the nature of vulnerability of the minor, the Court, on 08-09-2022, directed the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (‘RIMS’) Director to constitute a Medical Board to examine the minor and to find out whether pregnancy can be terminated or not.
RIMS Report: “The termination of pregnancy at this stage is associated with the inherent risks of the complications of second trimester termination of pregnancy.” The Board stated that termination of 28 weeks pregnancy is risky as the life of minor can be in danger.
RIMS further brought to the notice of the Court the mandate of Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 which stated that since the length of the pregnancy of the victim is over 28 weeks, termination of fetus is not permissible.
Observation and Analysis:
The Court considered the Medical Board report, which clearly mentioned that the termination of pregnancy is risky. The Court decided not to put the life of minorin danger. Further, the Court stated that this situation could have been avoided had the decision been taken at the appropriate time when the occurrence took place.
The Court further stated “Rape is a crime not only against a woman but against humanity at large as it brings out the most brutal, depraved and hideous aspects of human nature. It leaves a scar on the psyche of the victim and an adverse impact on society”.
The Court, in the interest of the victim and the unborn child, issued the following directions:
- The Deputy Commissioner will make arrangements to provide proper diet, medical supervision and medicines as may be necessary to the victim throughout the remaining part of her journey of pregnancy. When the time for delivery arrives, proper medical facilities be made available for the safe delivery of the child.
- The “A” shall be put in any proper rehabilitation Centre of the Government of Jharkhand or being operated under the scheme of the Union of India.
- The State Legal Services Authority shall ensure that the State Government shall pay an amount of Rs. 10 Lakh as compensation to the victim, which will be over and above the compensation amount which will be decided by the trial court at the conclusion of the trial in underlying proceedings. This amount has to be deposited in any nationalized bank in the name of “A” and the Deputy Commissioner will ensure to open the bank account in the name of the victim for same purpose.
- As soon as the newborn baby gains her mental balance and equilibrium, he/she will be allowed admission to a proper class in an appropriate school.
Considering that there is no rehabilitation Centre for such victim in Ranchi, the Chief Secretary of the Government of Jharkhand, Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, Government of Jharkhand and the Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi will ensure to create such rehabilitation Centre at Ranchi so that the rehabilitation Centre in the capital city may help such victim in future.
[“A” v. State of Jharkhand, 2022 SCC OnLine Jhar 983, decided on 14-09-2022]
For the Petitioner: Mr. Shailesh Poddar, Advocate
For the State: Mr. Kishore Kumar Singh, S.C.
Mr. Vishnu Prabhakar Pathak, A.C. to S.C.
For the RIMS: Dr. Ashok Kumar Singh, Advocate
Mr. Shivam Singh, Advocate
Ms. Madhu Priya, Advocate