Bombay high court asks Maharashtra government to respond to minor’s plea to abort 26-week foetus
Mumbai city news: A Pune resident claimed that his daughter was abducted and raped repeatedly by her neighbour when she was 17.mumbai Updated: Jun 11, 2017 00:49 IST
The Bombay high court has sought the response of the state to a Pune resident’s plea seeking permission for his 26-weeks-pregnant minor daughter, a rape survivor, to abort the foetus.
The man claimed that his daughter was abducted and raped repeatedly by her neighbour when she was 17.
Her pregnancy thus must not be forced on her, he argued and urged the court to uphold the girl’s right to life.
According to the plea, on June 22, 2016, the girl left home for college but did not return. Her classmates recalled having seen her near the college gate waiting for her father to pick her up after class.
Her parents lodged a missing person complaint. The next day, they realised that a man from their neighbourhood was also missing.
The parents and the police tried to contact both of them but their phones were not reachable.
Eight months later, the police finally found them in Solapur.
The girl told the police that the neighbour had met her near the college gate on the day of the incident. He had allegedly told her that her father was busy and had sent him to pick her up. He took her to an isolated place where he raped her and later forced her to marry him.
The man was arrested and charged with rape and abduction under the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
But as the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act does not permit abortion after 20 weeks , the girl’s father was forced to approach the high court arguing that the marriage, if it was indeed solemnised, could not be considered valid since the girl was a minor at the time.
He added that the consequent pregnancy was unwanted, and would cause much mental agony to her.
He also sought monetary compensation for her on the grounds that the police’s investigation was inefficient since it took them over eight months to find the girl and the accused.