HC allows termination of unborn child with defects, asks state to bring up child if bornUpdated: Jul 07, 2020 01:07 IST
The Bombay high court after permitting a couple to terminate a pregnancy in the 28th week due to defects in the child on a condition that they would take care of the child if it was born alive, has relaxed the condition and put the onus of taking care of the child on the government, if the couple was unable to do so or afford its treatment.
The HC modified its order after the couple brought to the notice of the bench that an earlier order had asked the government to take care of children born with defects, if the parents did not want to take care of it or afford its expenses.
A division bench of justice KK Tated and justice Milind Jadhav on June 30 had permitted a couple to medically terminate a 28-week pregnancy after the report from the medical board confirmed that the neurological anomalies would be a threat for the child after it was born, and hence the termination should be permitted. The petitioning couple through advocate Ruchita Padwal had said that despite the advanced stage of pregnancy they wanted to go for the termination, as it would cause mental agony and trauma for the mother after the child was born.
Additional government pleader Jyoti Chavan for the state submitted that as the medical board had given a nod for the termination, the state did not have any objection.
After hearing the submission, the court had passed an order permitting the termination. The court had, however, put a condition that if the child survived after termination, the couple would have to take responsibility for the child.
However, on July 3, Padwal approached the court again and submitted that the condition stipulated by the court in the June 30 order could not be complied with by the couple. She also drew the attention of the bench to an earlier order of justice AS Oka wherein he had put the onus of taking care of children born with defects after a termination procedure on the state government and hence the current order should be modified.
After hearing the submissions, while speaking to minutes the court directed the deletion of the paragraph which put the responsibility of the child on the parents and said, “In case, if the child is born alive and if the petitioner and her husband are not willing or are not in a position to take responsibility of such a child then the state and its agencies will have to assume full responsibility for such a child.”