Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, JJ., dismissed a petition raising concerns for the welfare of LGBTQI Community, as the same was filed without any ground work.

Public Interest Litigation was filed to seek direction to respondent to take effective measures to provide financial aid including food, shelter and medicines, etc., to sex workers, lesbians, bisexuals, gay and transgender people in Delhi for their survival during the COVID-19 Pandemic; petitioner also sought the constitution of a Committee for their rehabilitation.

Another point raised in the PIL was the exemption of rent for above-stated persons living in Delhi.

Bench on observing the points on concern raised in the PIL, asked the Counsel that for whose benefit the petition has been filed and how such people/persons are to be identified, he had no clue and appears to be thunderstruck by the question.

“…Whether any separate register is maintained of such persons, as indeed cannot be, again the petitioner has no idea.

Bench asked the Petitioner, whether such persons would come forward to identify themselves; he was unable to say anything whatsoever except for stating that such task should also be assigned to the respondent.”

Further the bench dismissed the matter by stating that respondent as well as State Governments have already brought out several schemes to alleviate hardship to citizens in wake of COVID-19.

Supreme Court and other Courts have already issued directions in the above regard and such persons are not being discriminated.

Thus petitioner sought to withdraw his petition. Court allowed for the same on the condition that,

“the petitioner, if files any other public interest litigation in his  name or on behalf of anybody else, to file a copy of this order alongwith the said PIL and mention this order prominently, in the synopsis as well as in the body of such fresh petition if any. [Anurag Chauhan v. Union of India,  2020 SCC OnLine Del 584 , decided on 11-05-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Dinesh Mehta, J. while allowing the present petition with regard to termination of pregnancy, stated that,

“…petitioner has been impregnated by an unknown person, consequent to her forced promiscuous physical relations.”

Petition by the present petition sought appropriate directions for termination of her pregnancy.

It has been stated in the petition that petitioner was brought to Pali (Rajasthan) by one of her relatives and handed over to Jannat Bano who runs a brothel. Petitioner was brought in without her consent and forced to work as a sex worker.

Further it was averred by the petitioner that consequent to her coitus with one of the hundreds unknown, she had been impregnated.

With a conception of about 20 weeks when petitioner approached medical practitioner for termination of her pregnancy, they flatly refused, citing that the pregnancy was of more than 20 weeks.

Bench, with a view to ward off possibility of pressure or coercion, deemed it expedient to record petitioner’s statement, wherein petitioner stated that she had been forced in fornication by Jannat Bano against her wishes.

Adding to the above, she stated that a year ago she had conceived and the termination of pregnancy was facilitated and financed by Jannat Bano. But at this time, she was note permitted by Jannat Bano to get rid of her pregnancy and instead wanted the petitioner to deliver the baby os that he/she can be either used or sold for money.

Petitioner also asserts that she wants to get rid of the sex racket and lead a respectable life.

Court stated that, medical termination of pregnancy is permissible for purpose of protecting the victim, from the trauma of being ravished, coupled with the fact that the baby to be born will remain with her and continue to remind her of the agony she has suffered during her confinement in brothel.

It was thus observed that,

“…abortion is imperative, so that petitioner can settled in life and the baby does not emerge as a snag in her possible peaceful life.”

If the child in womb is allowed to be born, his/her mental agony will be no less. He/she will always be reminded of petitioner’s past and the fact that his/her paternity is not known, will continue to throb his/her heart and hammer his/her mind and soul.

Court also opined that, petitioner’s mental agony is comparable to a victim of rape.

Thus, in view of the above, petition is allowed and Superintendent of Umaid Hospital, Jodhpur is directed to carry out the medical termination of petitioner’s pregnancy. [Muskan v. State of Rajasthan, 2020 SCC OnLine Raj 396, decided on 09-04-2020]