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Plea for Abortion: Gujarat High Court Explores Possibility of Compromise Between Rape Survivor and Accused

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      16 June, 2023 06:52 PM      0 Comments
Plea for Abortion: Gujarat High Court Explores Possibility of Compromise Between Rape Survivor and Accused

The Gujarat High Court judge has sought to know if there was a “chance of compromise” between a minor rape survivor and the accused, as it dealt with a plea for abortion of her seven-month foetus.

Justice Samir Dave, who had earlier suggested the lawyer for the victim's father to read the ancient scripture 'Manusmriti' to understand how women used to get married and have children early, on Thursday also said a judge must be like ‘sthita prajna’, who is not affected by criticism and praise.

The judge directed the police to produce the accused before the court on Friday and also allowed the victim or her parents to be present.

As the victim’s counsel Sikander Saiyed pleaded for abortion on the grounds that it was traumatic for the girl to keep the pregnancy due to her age and mental health, Justice Dave sought to know, “Where is the accused? Is there a chance to compromise?”

Saiyed responded that in the past he had made attempts to convince the accused but he refused.

The lawyer said that both the victim and accused are labourers and he had tried different options to save three lives — the victim, the child and the accused — but to no avail.

After this, the court ordered the police to produce the accused on June 16 to ascertain his stand.

The judge said he wouldn’t disclose what is in his mind.

As soon as Justice Dave asked about any chance of compromise, the assistant public prosecutor (APP) stood up and pointed out that the court’s view will be taken differently like the last time, the reference to Manusmriti.

After this, the judge said, “The APP is saying that if something comes from the court then people criticise you. That is what he wants to convey, but one thing I may say is that a judge must be like ‘sthita prajna’. Its definition is given in Bhagwat Gita, chapter-2 Samkhya Yoga, sloka 54 to 72. A judge has to be like that. Praise or criticism one should ignore both.”

The judge had earlier said it is difficult to allow abortion of foetus of six or seven months carried by a minor above 16-year, citing 'Manusmriti' to point out the girls used to get married early and became mother by the age of 17.
 



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