Monday, February 7, 2022

Rape victim has right to terminate pregnancy: Uttarakhand High Court

Despite the medical board’s advice that termination would pose a substantial risk to the rape victim's life, the Court held that compelling her to continue with the pregnancy would violate her right to live with dignity.

The right to life means more than “survival or animal existence”, and included the right to live with dignity. The Court held,

"There is a right to termination pregnancy on ground of rape. A rape victim has a right to make a choice to carry. She has also right not to carry pregnancy subject to the conditions as enumerated under the provisions of the Act."

Facts of the Case:

- Father of 16-year-old rape victim moved the High Court seeking termination of a 28-week pregnancy;

- Medical Board advised against it since it presented a risk to the minor girl;

- Petitioner argued that girl would suffer mental injury if the pregnancy continued;

- The court held that compelling the pregnancy to continue would infringe the girl’s right to live with human dignity guaranteed under Article 21;

- The termination was allowed with a direction to cancel the procedure if any risk to the victim’s life was found.

Justice Verma also considered a judgment of the apex court in Murugan Nayakkar v. Union of India where medical termination beyond the statutory outer limit was allowed, even though the Board stated that termination will have equal danger for the mother, considering the fact that the victim was 13 years old and in trauma.

No comments:

Post a Comment