New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined 10-year-old rape survivor's plea, seeking termination of 32-week pregnancy after a medical board informed it that abortion at this stage would put the life of the girl, from Chandigarh, at grave risk.
The apex court, however, asked the doctors at the government hospital in Chandigarh to give the girl the best treatment.
The medical board, through the Member-Secretary of the Legal Services Authority of Chandigarh, submitted a report to the SC bench on Friday in a sealed cover. The report said that the girl should continue with the pregnancy till delivery.
Acting on a writ petition filed by an advocate, Alakh Alok Srivastava, a bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud had on July 24 asked a medical board to examine the girl.
Advocate Srivastava approached the Supreme Court after doctors refused to terminate the minor girl's pregnancy. The girl was repeatedly raped and impregnated by her own uncle.
The rape survivor’s parents, who are poor, had earlier approached the Chandigarh District Court for permission to terminate the pregnancy, but the trial court dismissed their plea on July 18.
Termination of pregnancy beyond the 20 weeks period is an offence in India, punishable with punishment ranging from three to seven years.
Meanwhile, Srivastava pointed out to the apex court that there is an urgent need for it to frame appropriate guidelines for setting up a permanent mechanism and for constituting permanent medical boards in each district for termination of pregnancies beyond 20 weeks in the exceptional cases, particularly involving child rape survivors.
Taking note of the submissions, the Supreme Court bench asked the Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, to consider enacting a law for setting up a permanent medical board at each government hospital in the country.
Meanwhile, another bench of Justices Dipak Misra and AM Kanwilkar permitted termination of 24-week pregnancy of a girl in Mumbai after a team of doctors pointed out that the foetus was suffering from abnormalities in the brain and it would be dangerous for both the mother and the child if pregnancy was continued.