Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding the writ petition, a bench of Vinod S. Bhardwaj, J., directed the Medical Board to terminate more than 24 weeks old pregnancy of minor rape victim.

Background

In the case at hand, the petitioner was subjected to rape as a result of which she got pregnant. The petitioner submits that she is a minor and continuation of the pregnancy will cause a great physical and psychological trauma to her. She further contends that she being dependent for her needs and is not in a situation to take care of the child . Since the pregnancy is more than 24 weeks old, the petitioner is bound to approach a Court to seek termination of the pregnancy in accordance with Section 3 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP Act).

The Court placed reliance on X v. Union of India, (2020) 19 SCC 806 and said that it is not in dispute that the victim is a minor and is dependent on her family. She is yet to complete her education and pursue her goals in life. It can also not be lost sight of the fact that the pregnancy is an outcome of violation of the minor. It is a testimony to her bruised body and soul. The child, if born, is not a reminder of good memories, but shall be a reminder of trauma and agony she had to undergo.

The Court further said that the same is not in the best interest of either the mother and her family already having expressed their unwillingness to bring up the child, it may not even be advancing the cause of the unborn, who will grapple to come to terms with life and be subjected to maltreatment for no fault.

The Court further noted that,

“Life is not just about being able to breathe,it is about being able to live with dignity. Where the denial of dignity and social as well as family acceptance or approval is a writing on the wall, it compounds agony of the child and leads to greater injustice. Balance thus needs to be drawn to examine the overall well-being. Whether to shape the trauma of a victim or to prolong it by delivery of the child, who is to be only victimized. The choices thus reduce, and it seems more prudent to allow the termination of pregnancy”

Hence, the Court directed the Medical Board of the Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Govt. Medical College & Hospital, Mewat to take all appropriate and necessary steps and carry out the medical termination of the pregnancy in accordance with the law.

The Court further directed that petitioner would be at liberty to espouse her financial status before the authorities concerned and be entitled to the benefit under the prevalent schemes in accordance with the rules.

[X v. State of Haryana, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 3441, decided on 21-11-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Rosi, Advocate, Counsel for the Petitioner;

Vivek Chauhan, Advocate, Counsel for the Respondent.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: P. Bajanthri, J., asked the authorities concerned to place on record in the next hearing “whether the directions issued by Supreme Court with regard to identity revelation of minor rape victim were violated or not?”

Petitioner stated to that the name and identity of the minor  rape victim was revealed along with the documents in which the identity has been revealed, various other authorities have also disclosed the same.

Supreme Court in the case of Nipun Saxena v. Union of India, (2019) 13 SCC 715 had decided that, in order to protect privacy of a victim/minor girl/woman name/s of victim/minor girl/woman and other particulars shall not be disclosed in any of the documents.

While interpreting Section 228-A Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 23, 24 and 33 of POCSO Act, 2012, certain directions were issued.

Therefore, official respondents have been directed to carry out the directions of Supreme Court.

The issue involved in the present matter related to termination of pregnancy, wherein victim is stated to have suffered rape and being a minor her mother filed the present petition.

Thus, Respondent 1 is directed to constitute medical board for the purpose of medical examination of the victim,

“Whether termination of pregnancy would cause any harm to both victim and foetus”.

Respondent 4 is directed to pay sum of Rs 25,000 to the victim as interim compensation.

Due to COVID-19 respondent 3 is directed to issue appropriate pass in order to reach the hospital and respondent 1 to provide ambulance or taxi facility.

If necessary steps have already taken in this regard, the same shall be placed on record on the next date of hearing so as to verify, “Whether any of the authorities have violated Supreme Court direction read with State directions to the authorities or not”.

Matter to be listed on 19-05-2020. [Minor ‘A’ v. Karwar District Hospital, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 484 , decided on 12-05-2020]

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Division Bench of Daya Chaudhary & Sudhir Mittal, JJ. allowed the application for the enhancement of compensation to minor rape victim under Punjab Victim Compensation Scheme, 2017.

An application for enhancement of compensation was made in this case which was awarded by Sessions Judge.

The victim child was awarded compensation of Rs 6000 out of the amount of fine. The appeal was filed for enhancement of compensation which was earlier admitted. Victim (minor) through her natural guardian and mother also filed an application under Section 482 CrPC read with Section 357-A CrPC seeking recommendation to Respondent 2 i.e. District Legal Services Authority to grant compensation to her under the Punjab Victim Compensation Scheme, 2017 framed under Section 357-A of CrPC.

Ravinder Kaur Manaise, Counsel for the applicant submitted that applicant-victim was five years of age at the time of occurrence and suffered injury. It was submitted that for her physical and mental rehabilitation adequate compensation is required to be awarded to her as per Punjab Victim Compensation Scheme, 2017.

H.S. Sullar, DAG, Punjab for the respondent contended that the amount of compensation can be recovered from the accused, later on as he was in custody.

The Court referred to the Punjab Victim Compensation Scheme and noted the relevant clause of the said scheme as “the applicant is entitled to compensation, which is to be disbursed through the Bank account of the victim or through a designated person to be nominated by the Punjab Legal Services Authority or District Legal Services Authority as the case may be. The compensation is required to be paid in lump sum or in two installments as decided by the Punjab Legal Services Authority or District Legal Services Authority.” Regarding the amount of the compensation it was directed that “in case victim is less than 14 years of age, the amount of compensation is to be increased by 50% over the amount specified in the schedule, meaning, thereby, she is entitled to Rs 4,50,000.”  Thus, the petition was allowed and respondents were directed to grant the compensation to minor as per Punjab Victim Compensation Scheme, 2017. It was further directed that the Punjab State Legal Services Authority was at liberty to recover the amount so paid to the victim from the accused. [‘X’ v. State of Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1026, decided on 22-05-2019]