The Delhi High Court has directed to shift a 14-year-old girl to Children’s Home for Girls-IV, Nirmal Chayya, New Delhi for the purpose of safe delivery of her child as she refused to undergo medical termination of pregnancy.

A Single Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani observed, “The petitioner be shifted forthwith from ‘Sakhi One-Stop Centre’, IHBAS Hospital Complex, Shahdara, Delhi to Childrens Home for Girls-IV, Nirmal Chayya, New Delhi in terms of the Follow-up Order dated 31.05.2023 made by the CWC for being put under necessary care and protection, in accordance with the mandate of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, as per their norms and procedure.”

The Bench noted that the petitioner had unequivocally said that she does not wish to terminate the pregnancy and wanted to carry it to term and that her brother responded to the same effect.

Advocate Anwesh Madhukar appeared for the petitioner while ASC Yasir Rauf Ansari and Advocate Adeeb-ul-Hasan appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the petitioner was produced before the Medical Board for medical termination of pregnancy and the Medical Board rendered a report for the same. The said report was placed before the court by the Investigating Officer and as per the physical examination and ultrasound report, the pregnancy was of about 26-27 weeks of gestation.

The petitioner was counselled regarding the medical implications of a second-trimester termination of pregnancy including the possibility of a hysterectomy. Most significantly, the report recorded that she had communicated her wish to continue pregnancy till term and give up the baby for adoption. The petitioner’s brother was also present at the time of the proceedings before the Medical Board.

The High Court after hearing the contentions of the counsel said, “The clear position of law in relation to medical termination of pregnancy is that it only requires the consent of the ‘woman’. In the present case, since the ‘woman’ is in fact a child of about 14 years of age, the law requires that consent be taken from the ‘guardian’ of the woman within the meaning of section 2(a) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.”

The Court further said that the only guardian available, in whose care and custody the petitioner was at present, was her brother aged 22 years old, who also expressed both before the Medical Board as also before the court that they do not consent to medical termination of the pregnancy.

Accordingly, the Court issued necessary directions.

Cause Title- Minor K through Brother D v. State & Anr.

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