The Rajasthan High Court allowed a 20-year-old rape victim to terminate the pregnancy where the foetus has crossed the age of 28 weeks.

The Court noted that non granting of permission would result in grave injury to her mental health.

The Court ruled thus while noting that the girl approached the Court when her pregnancy was within the permissible limits of the Act.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 termination of pregnancy is allowed till 24 weeks for certain category of women defined under MTP Act.

The bench of Justice Sudesh Bansal observed, “….permission to terminate the pregnancy of a rape victim can be granted beyond the prescribed provisions of the Act of 1971, amended act of 2021, considering the peculiar facts and circumstances of individual case.”

Rape victim, who is a major girl of about 20 years, approached the High Court under section 482 CrPC seeking permission to terminate her unwarranted pregnancy, which according to report of the Medical Board has attained age of 28 weeks.

The Court noted that the Medical Board has in its report opined to terminate the pregnancy of petitioner under high risk with the consent of the petitioner and subject to granting permission by this Court.

The Court said that the petitioner is a major girl and a rape victim, who is agreeable to give her consent to undergo an operation to get terminated her unwanted pregnancy under the high risk to her life.

The Court noted that as per Section 3(2) explanation no.2 of the Act of 1971, non-granting permission for the termination of pregnancy of petitioner would certainly render grave injury to her mental health and would amount to forcing her with the responsibility to take care of a child for lifelong, contrary to her wish.

The Court further noted that the Apex Court and various High Courts have allowed the termination of a foetus, where the foetus has crossed the age of 28 weeks.

The Court said that in the present case, the Medical Board has also opined for performing the surgery to terminate the pregnancy, subject to high-risk consent, for which the petitioner is agreeable.

Accordingly, the Court directed the Superintendent of Mahila Chikitsalaya to make arrangements for the termination of the pregnancy of the petitioner, subject to extending free consent of high risk by the petitioner to undergo such termination.

However, the Court directed that in case the foetus is found alive, the hospital shall provide all necessary medical assistance including an incubation facility, to ensure that the foetus may survive and in case, the foetus is not found alive, the appropriate steps be taken to preserve evidence for the subsequent DNA test report.

Finally, the Court disposed of the Petition.

Cause Title: Victim v. State of Rajasthan (Neutral Citation: 2024:RJ-JP:25187)


Appellant: Adv. Satish Kumar

Respondent: PP Chandragupt Chopra

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