Madhya Pradesh High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court: In an appeal against the dismissal of writ petition seeking termination of minor rape survivor’s pregnancy, a division bench comprising of Ravi Malimath, CJ., and Vishal Mishra,* J., permitted the termination of the appellant’s pregnancy despite exceeding 24 weeks gestation under specific conditions, including the presence of expert medical personnel, provision of post-operative care, and safeguarding of DNA evidence for potential use in the criminal case against the perpetrator, considering her status as a minor rape survivor and relevant medical risks.

In the instant matter, the appellant, a minor aged around 17 years, was a survivor of sexual assault and rape. Subsequently, she became pregnant as a result of the assault. Upon discovery of her pregnancy, her family sought termination of her pregnancy through an application to Gandhi Medical College and Hamidia Hospital. However, the request was denied as the petitioner was found to be carrying a pregnancy exceeding 24 weeks, falling under the restrictions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The appellant filed a writ petition seeking termination of her pregnancy, which was initially dismissed.

The Court noted that the petitioner is a rape survivor, was a minor at the relevant time and is also suffering from some physical disability. The Court asserted that “permitting for carrying out the pregnancy of a woman who is not in a position to manage herself will be creating great problems to her in future life.” The Court directed a medical examination and received a report indicating that termination could be performed, albeit with certain risks due to the advanced gestational age.

The Court noted that the Supreme Court in X v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2023) 9 SCC 433 considered the aforesaid aspect of termination of pregnancy including “the choice of the woman to get the pregnancy terminated and other socio-economic factors including the physical health condition of the woman has permitted for terminating the pregnancy”. Citing X v. State (NCT of Delhi) (Supra) and XYZ v. State of Gujarat, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1658, where the Supreme Court permitted termination in similar circumstances, the Court considered the petitioner’s status as a minor rape survivor and her physical disability and concluded that termination was appropriate under the circumstances. The Court allowed the appeal and permitted termination of the appellant’s pregnancy subject to the following conditions:

  1. The procedure of termination of pregnancy will be carried out in the presence of an expert team of doctors. The expert doctors will explain to the family members and the petitioner the risk of her pregnancy termination and other factors.

  2. Every care and caution will be taken by the doctors while terminating the pregnancy. All medical attention and other medical facilities including that of a presence of a pediatrician as well as a Radiologist and other required doctors will be made available to her.

  3. The post operative care up to the extent required, will be extended to the petitioner. It will be the duty of the State Government to take care of the child, if born alive.

  4. The doctors will also ensure that a sample from the fetus is protected for DNA examination and will be given to the prosecution for use in the criminal case.

[Survivor v. Superintendent of Police Dept., Bhopal, 2024 SCC OnLine MP 2871, order dated 09-05-2024]

*Judgment by Justice Vishal Mishra

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Hritvik Dixit and Ms. Priyanka Tiwari, Counsel for the Appellant

Mr. Harpreet Singh Ruprah, Additional Advocate General, Counsel for the Respondents

Must Watch

maintenance to second wife

bail in false pretext of marriage

right to procreate of convict

Criminology, Penology and Victimology book release

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.