The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday sent a 14-year-old pregnant girl, an alleged rape victim, for examination to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, following his father’s plea to abort the child. The girl, a Class-9 student from Haryana, is three-and-a-half-months pregnant.
The single-judge bench of justice R K Jain directed PGIMER director to get the girl examined by two gynaecologists and submit the report within two days as to whether her pregnancy can be terminated at this stage.
The high court bench took note of the section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 which provides that a pregnancy may be terminated by a registered medical practitioner, where the length of the pregnancy exceeds 12 weeks but does not exceed 20 weeks, if not less than two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith, that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury, physical or mental, or there is a substantial risk that if the child is born, would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities, and where any pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape, the anguish caused by such pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.
Undoubtedly, the length of the girl’s pregnancy has now exceeded 12 weeks and her pregnancy is 3 12 months old. Therefore, in view of Section 3(2)(b) of the Act, opinion of two registered practitioners is necessary, before passing any kind of order, who would form an opinion about the termination of the pregnancy of the girl, the high court bench said in its order.
According to the victim family, the accused, their tenant whom they had rented out accommodation merely four months ago, had been raping the girl and used to threaten her of dire consequences, if she told about it to someone. They came to know about it, when the girl a couple of days ago complained of abdominal pain, following which she was taken to hospital and doctors told the family of pregnancy.
The incident has come to light barely months after another minor rape victim girl from Haryana gave birth to a child under the supervision of PGIMER doctors as doctors advised that pregnancy be not terminated due to advanced stage.