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Supreme Court refuses to allow victim of alleged sexual assault to terminate 32-week pregnancy

Court allowed family to approach Bombay HC for necessary state aid to ensure child’s delivery in 'neutral' surrounding in view of 'unpleasant social situation' faced by family

Our Legal Correspondent New Delhi Published 23.02.24, 05:30 AM
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Representational image File picture

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to allow a victim of alleged sexual assault to terminate her 32-week pregnancy.

However, the court allowed the family to approach Bombay High Court for necessary state aid to ensure the child’s delivery in a “neutral” surrounding in view of the “unpleasant social situation” faced by the family.

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The apex court said it hoped that if and when the application is moved by the family, it would receive “urgent consideration” from the high court.

A bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra passed the order while disposing of an appeal filed by the victim and her family challenging a Bombay High Court order issued on February 16. It had refused to allow the girl to terminate the pregnancy as it was at an advanced stage.

While declining to set aside the high court order, the apex court observed: “It is noticed that the pregnancy is at a very advanced stage i.e., nearly 32 weeks and in the circumstances noticed by the High Court, we see no infirmity with the order... the High Court has dealt with the matter with appropriate degree of sensitivity and while rejecting the plea for termination of the pregnancy of the victim girl, there is also assurance to provide adequate measures for taking care of the baby to be born...”

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