Chandigarh: Can 10-yr-old rape victim undergo abortion? PGI panel against it, hint members

The medical panel members remained tightlipped on record. However, one of the members spoke to HT on the condition of anonymity and said, “Do you think, at this stage, she can abort? Ask yourself this question and you will get the answer. Our views are what you are thinking.”

punjab Updated: Jul 27, 2017 09:55 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
rape victim,PGIMER,abortion law
(Representative image)

The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) panel constituted to examine the 10-year-old pregnant rape victim for abortion is learnt to have recommended against it. The girl is nearly eight-month pregnant.

The minor was examined by an eight-member team of doctors following a direction from the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar on Monday asking whether the pregnancy of the minor can be terminated.

The minor should continue with the pregnancy as she has already crossed the deadline to abort the child, one of the panel members said.

“Do you think that she can abort at this stage?” questioned another member adding: “Our (panel members) views are what you are thinking.” The doctors were not ready to be quoted citing instructions not to talk to anybody. The country has a 20-week (five months) legal ceiling on abortion.

The girl was accompanied by her mother, member secretary, UT Chandigarh, State Legal Services Authority Mahavir Singh, along with some police officials for the examination at the PGIMER conducted between 9:30am and 1pm. Upon examination, the panel is learnt to have submitted the report by at 2:30pm in a sealed cover to the PGIMER director, who has further submitted it to Mahavir Singh.

The eight-member-panel was constituted on Monday evening. It was chaired by Dr D Behera, head, pulmonary medicine, PGIMER, and member secretary, Dr Vipin Koushal. The other members are Dr Vanita Suri, head, gynaecology, Dr Praveen Kumar, paediatrician, Dr N Khandelwal, head, radiodiagnosis, Dr Ajit Awasthi, head, psychiatry department, Dr Swati Kumari, head, internal medicine and Dr Manoj Kumar Rohit from the cardiology department.

On July, 24, when HT had spoken to some gynaecologists, at least five from the PGIMER had ruled out the possibility of abortion. Those contacted included one of the panel members.

The girl was examined after the SC had asked the member secretary of the state legal services authority to assist the panel in the examination and submit a report on Friday.

The case came to light two weeks ago after the girl was taken to hospital for stomach ache. The girl was raped allegedly by her maternal uncle, a hotel worker, repeatedly over seven months. He has been arrested. The girl’s family hails from Nepal and has been residing in servants’ quarters in one of the southern sectors in Chandigarh. Her father is a watchman and the mother works as a domestic help.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 23:04 IST