Saturday, 20 October, 2018

SC refuses abortion to rape victim

SC Refuses To Grant Permission To Abort Pregnancy Of HIV Infected Rape Victim Directs Bihar Govt To Compensate SC refuses abortion to rape victim
Ben Pena | 10 May, 2017, 06:40

The Supreme Court on 8 May refused to grant permission to abort the pregnancy of an HIV infected rape victim and directed the Bihar government to give her a compensation of Rs. 3 lakh.

The court ordered for compensation under the Bihar government's victim compensation scheme that has been framed under Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Today, the apex court said it would determine on August 9, the next date of hearing, the total compensation the Bihar authorities must pay the woman for negligence.

Acting on a report prepared by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to let a rape survivor terminate her pregnancy.

"The petitioner (the victim) shall be paid sum of Rs 3 lakh, as she has been a victim of rape", directed the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar in their order. The court however, accepted counsel Vrinda Grover's submissions seeking compensation for the woman.

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Then she was examined by Patna Medical College and Hospital. A previous report had cited several ailments she is suffering from and suggested that she should be allowed to terminate her pregnancy. The Patna High Court refused to permit her to terminate the pregnancy after a medical board that examined her said it could be risky.

Earlier, being a married mother of two children and deserted by her husband, she had sought abortion of her foetus when she was 17 weeks pregnant.

In her plea, the woman said she was a destitute and had come to know about her pregnancy for the first time around the 13th week, and that too after she was rescued by Shanti Kutir, a Womens Rehabilitation Centre, and taken a pregnancy test on January 26. Thereafter, the woman approached a research officer with the NGO Koshish, and expressed her desire to terminate the foetus.

The plea, submitted by senior advocate Vrinda Grover, said that the Patna High Court rejected the destitute woman's plea exclusively on the ground that she had crossed her 20th week of pregnancy by then.

The petitioner had told the apex court that high court had failed to appreciate that the woman was 35 years of age and completely fit to make her own reproductive choices without any interference. It was also found that she is HIV-positive.

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