HC directs J&K govt to formulate policy for dealing with ‘unwanted pregnancy’ in cases of rape
Srinagar: The High Court Wednesday issued notice to the Union Territory government on a plea seeking formulation of a policy for handling and dealing with termination of pregnancy in minor rape victims without delay.
The notice was issued in a petition filed by an unfortunate 14-year-old minor girl from central Kashmir seeking court intervention for immediate termination of her 12-week “unwanted pregnancy”.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed the concerned authorities to immediately get the minor examined by the Board of Doctors.
It is mentionable that a Board had been constituted in the matter on 15th of December.
Justice Kumar asked authorities to take decision with regard to the termination of unwanted pregnancy of the minor girl having regard to the opinion of the Board forthwith.
As per the petition, the minor girl was subjected to rape by (some) accused person but the matter came to light only when the pregnancy of the girl was deducted on medical examination.
Accordingly a case FIR No. 219 of 2021 was registered on 23rd of November under sections 376 IPC and 3/4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Abuses Act (POCSO) in the Police Station concerned.
Since the pregnancy of the minor girl being unwanted, the Child Welfare Committee Ganderbal referred the matter to the Chief Medical Officer (concerned) for doing the required job.
The father of the minor girl, however, alleges that despite the matter having been referred to the Chief Medical Officer on 13th of December, she is yet to be medically examined by the Board.
No decision with regard to the (medical) termination of her pregnancy has been taken, he told the court through his lawyer, Lone Altaf.
The court appreciated certain issues raised by the petitioner’s lawyer on the issue having wider ramifications in matters of this grievous nature.
It accordingly issued notice to the respondent authorities seeking their response within four weeks.
The lawyer sought direction to the government through Commissioner-Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department to formulate a policy for handling and dealing such cases without any delay.
A medical practitioner shall be notified in each district hospital of J&K so as to avoid unnecessary delay in such regrettable instances.
He also sought guidelines by the court with respect to the medical care and protection of the mother (rape victim) and the babies born out of such gory incidents.
The petition also sought compensation to victims and babies born out of such rape incidents.
“In the meantime, respondent no. 3 (Chief Medical Officer, concerned) shall get the minor girl examined by the Board of Doctors stated to have been constituted on 15.12.2021, immediately and forthwith and take decision with regard to the termination of unwanted pregnancy of the minor girl having regard to the opinion of the Board,” directed the court.
A report in this regard has to be submitted by the respondent to the court by the next date.