Delhi HC Allows Termination Of Minor Girl’s Pregnancy Even As Her Father Fails To Come Forward To Sign The Consent Form
The Delhi High Court has allowed the medical termination of a minor girl’s pregnancy after her father who had consented to the termination of pregnancy failed to come forward to sign the consent form.
The Court, considering the urgency of the matter as it was informed that only 2-3 days were left for completing 24 weeks of pregnancy, allowed the Superintendent, Nirmal Chhaya Complex, to sign the consent form as the guardian of the victim.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma directed the standing counsel from Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee to place a proper plan for rehabilitation of the minor victim in consultation with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Authority and Child Welfare Committee.
This comes after the Court was informed that the minor girl (victim) is pregnant and is carrying 21 weeks of pregnancy. The medical board opined that she is fit to continue her pregnancy or undergo medical termination of pregnancy.
During the chamber hearing, the interaction was done by the Court, Amicus Curiae and the victim as well as the interaction was done by the father of the victim. After interaction, the father of the victim and the victim stated that they are ready for medical termination of pregnancy without any fear, force and coercion.
However, a special mentioning was made by standing counsel to the effect that the father of the victim was not coming forward to sign the consent form. A notice was issued to the father of the victim for appearing before the Court but his house was found locked and the notice was pasted on the main gate at the house.
Amicus Curiae pointed out that there is only 2-3 days left for completing the 24 weeks of pregnancy and therefore, it would become very difficult for the termination of the pregnancy and it will not be in the interest the child and the victim.
Senior Advocate Rebecca John- Amicus Curiae, Rahul Tyagi, ASC, appeared for the State. Standing Counsel Aashish C. appeared from Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee.
The Court noted that “This Court has considered the submissions made by Ms. Rebecca John, learned senior counsel - Amicus Curiae, Sh. Rahul Tyagi, learned standing counsel and is of the considered opinion that at this age the victim cannot be burdened with the agony of bearing the child merely because her father who had given consent for the MTP of victim before this Court is not coming forward to sign the required consent form which is only a formality.”
The Court further observed that at a tender age allowing the minor victim to give birth and raise a child knowing that she herself is in her adolescent age and is thus mentally and physically unprepared would be totally inappropriate and improper.
“This Court considers that in view of the consent given by the victim, the same cannot be frustrated only on the account of irresponsible act of her father who after giving the consent not coming forward to fulfill the formalities.”, the Court said.
The Court allowed the Superintendent, Nirmal Chhaya Complex to sign the consent form as the guardian of the victim.
The Court allowed the termination of pregnancy of the minor victim/petitioner to be undertaken by competent doctors in accordance with the provisions of the MTP act.
Cause Title- Ms. X v. State & Ors
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