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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

Police should inform rape victims of option of termination of pregnancy: High Court

The HC had also directed a Medical Board consisting of a gynecologist, pediatrician and psychologist to give an opinion on the fitness of the victim in the present case to undergo medical termination of pregnancy

PTI Bengaluru Published 13.12.23, 07:28 PM
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While allowing a rape victim to terminate a pregnancy that was in the 24th week, the High Court has directed that all jurisdictional police should inform victims of the option available for termination of pregnancy so that they do not have to approach the courts at a belated stage.

The 17-year-old victim's father had approached the HC seeking for medical termination of her pregnancy. She is subject to a crime under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC and POCSO Act.

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As a result of the crime she conceived and is currently 24 weeks pregnant. The petition claimed that the victim does not want to continue with the pregnancy and sought medical termination.

Justice Suraj Govindaraj, who heard the petition in his order on December 11, said such a situation would not have arisen "if at all such a decision had been taken earlier, then there would have been no requirement for the petitioner to approach this Court."

It, therefore, directed the Principal Secretary, Home Department, to issue necessary directions to all jurisdictional and/ or investigating officers "to make known the availability of an option of medical termination of pregnancy, the procedure and process required to be followed for the same if the victim and/or natural guardian so desire."

The investigating officer should also keep ready a member or representative of the jurisdictional Child Welfare Committee or the District Child Protection Unit, the court maintained.

The HC had also directed a Medical Board consisting of a gynecologist, pediatrician and psychologist to give an opinion on the fitness of the victim in the present case to undergo medical termination of pregnancy (MTP).

The report was submitted on December 12. The HC then allowed the MTP to be carried out.

The HC ordered that after the MTP, the tissue samples of the foetus should be preserved for the purpose of DNA analysis if required or ordered by the trial court in the POCSO case.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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