The Kerala High Court, in a shocking case, where a girl aged 12 years had incestual relationship with her minor brother, rejected the petition to terminate her pregnancy, saying that it is not a case where termination of pregnancy is an option.

The Court was deciding a writ petition filed by the parents who sought termination of pregnancy of their daughter who was carrying pregnancy which according to them, was on account of an incestual relationship with her own minor brother.

A Single Bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran said, “A sum total evaluation of all the afore inputs and submissions, renders it indubitable that this is not a case where termination of pregnancy is an option, even if the request of the petitioner is to be considered from any available angle or contour. … This is because, the foetus has already reached 34 weeks of gestation and is now fully developed, preparing for its life outside the womb.”

The Bench added that the termination of pregnancy at this point is not tenable, if not impossible; and therefore, the child will have to be allowed to be born, either through a caesarean section or a normal delivery.

“This, of course, is a matter of choice for the experts and cannot be fully left to the petitioners, particularly, taking note of the rather young age of the victim – mother”, it also said.

Advocate K.M. Firoz appeared for the petitioners while Government Pleader Vidya Kuriakose appeared for the respondents.

Brief Facts -

The parents of the daughter sought that her pregnancy be allowed to be terminated medically, on the ground that, if she is forced to deliver the baby, it would cause cataclysmic consequences to her physiological and psychological condition. The Government Pleader made available the minutes and decision of the ‘Review Medical Board’ which was conducted.

The Court had a further interaction with the members of the ‘Review Board’ who were firm in their opinion that if the child was to be delivered now, it may have serious impact on its health and prognosis because the gestation is already 34 weeks. The doctors were unanimous in their opinion that if the gestation is to reach 36 weeks, a safe caesarean delivery could be considered because normal delivery may be untenable on account of the young age of the mother. They also informed the court that another two weeks of gestation of the foetus would not affect the physiological well-being of the mother.

The High Court after considering the submissions of the parties observed, “I am also persuaded to the afore because, petitioners 1 and 2 themselves say, through their learned counsel – Sri.Firoz K.M., that they were not aware that their child was carrying a pregnancy until very recently; and that it is only, thereupon, that they decided to approach this Court, seeking the reliefs as prayed for. This factum weighs heavily with this Court, but I choose not to say anything further for the reason that, perhaps legal proceedings are pending with respect to the alleged relationship the girl had with her brother.”

The Court ordered that the girl’s minor brother shall not be allowed anywhere near her, or to have access to her in any manner whatsoever which shall be ensured by the competent authorities.

Accordingly, the High Court disposed of the writ petition and issued necessary directions.

Cause Title- XXXXX & Ors. v. State of Kerala & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2023/KER/83847)

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