Delhi HC asks underage pregnant girl to be 'unambiguous' on her stand on abortion

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked a 15-year-old pregnant girl to "unambiguously" state whether she consents to terminate her foetus as she has changed her stand on the matter several times. The court said, before passing any order, it wanted to be sure that the girl, who on Tuesday told the judges she wanted to abort her pregnancy, will not change her mind again.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta noted that the girl, who had left her house and married a man on her free will, changed her mind thrice between 8 December, when she appeared before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), and 13 December, when she had gone for her medical examination to AIIMS, and again today while appearing before the court.

"Therefore, the court directs that the girl, through her parents, should file an affidavit before this court tomorrow clearly stating the circumstances under which she changed her mind... She should unambiguously state in the affidavit whether she consents to the termination of her pregnancy," it said, adding it appeared that the girl was "prevaricating".

The police had on 27 November taken into custody, the man to whom the girl was married under the provisions of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the IPC.

Initially the girl did not wish to return to her parents and was sent to Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre, and later she returned to her parents.

 Delhi HC asks underage pregnant girl to be unambiguous on her stand on abortion

Representational image. PTI

She appeared before the CWC on 8 December and stated that she wished to terminate her pregnancy, after which an AIIMS doctor was directed to examine her to ascertain if terminating her pregnancy was safe and medically advisable.

The doctor noted that she was not willing to abort her pregnancy as she had married consensually.

The doctor noted that her pregnancy was a result of rape, as she was aged less than 18 years. He also said termination of her pregnancy was not advisable.

The bench noted that the girl, through her father, has now approached the court stating that she wishes to terminate her foetus.

Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act prohibits abortion of a foetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Advocate Kamlesh Kumar Mishra, appearing for the girl, urged that, as has been done in many similar cases by the Supreme Court, a medical board should be constituted to evaluate her status and submit a report if it is safe for her to undergo an abortion at this stage.

During the day's hearing, both the judges spoke to the girl in chamber and she reiterated that she wishes to terminate her prenancy and also said that she had told the doctor that she did not wish to do so.

"...but she has since re-thought the matter and now wishes to terminate her pregnancy as she wishes to pursue her studies," it noted.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2017 07:13:58 IST