On Wednesday the Kerala High Court allowed another Minor Girl to terminate her pregnancy of 16 weeks. 16 year old minor girl was raped and assaulted which resulted into pregnancy.
An Amendment to the Medical Termination Pregnancy Act, 1971 carried out in March 2021 increased the permissible termination period of pregnancy from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. Post 24 weeks, the termination can be allowed by a special order passed by the High Court, in exceptional cases.
In the current case, the victim had consulted two (2) private hospitals for the termination of her pregnancy, both of which refused because a criminal case was filed against the perpetrator. The parents of the victim approached the High Court to pass an order in approval of the termination. This being the third case in a week, the earlier two cases wherein the minor girls were more than 26 weeks pregnant. A Medical Board was constituted by the Court which discussed the terms and thereby recommended that the pregnancy can be terminated.
The Court sought opinion of a Government Pleader who stated that the 16 weeks pregnancy was within the termination period as mentioned in the Medical Termination Pregnancy Act, 1971. Hence it was permissible to be terminate the pregnancy even without the order of the Court.
The Counsel for the victim stated that considering the minor age of the victim, delivering the child would cause detrimental effects to the health of the victim – both physically and mentally.
The Court passed an Order in favour of the Victim and directed the parents to visit a Government hospital with the Court’s Order copy and the copy of the amended Act thereby disposing off the Petition.
In another recent case, The Bench of Justices K Vinod Chandram and Ziyad Rahman of the Kerala High Court have ruled a landmark verdict wherein it was stated that penetration between the thighs of a girl shall also amount to Rape as defined in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Court so Observed –