He further added that In X. vrs. Union of India (2016) 14 SCC 382 medical termination of pregnancy of 23-24 weeks of a Rape victim was allowed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court to save the life of the woman. In X and other vs. Union of India (2017) 3 SCC 458 after 24 weeks of pregnancy as the pregnancy involves grave risk to the life of the petitioner and possible grave injury to her physical and mental health, medical termination was allowed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. In Meera Santosh Pal vs. Union of India (2017) 3 SCC 462 the Supreme Court held that women's right to make reproductive choice is also a dimension of personal liberty as understood under Article-21 of the Constitution. Therefore, holding that there was possible grave injury to her physical and mental health as required under Section 3 (2) (i) of the Act though the pregnancy was into 24 weeks, having regard to the aforesaid consideration, the Hon'ble Supreme Court allowed the petitioner to terminate her pregnancy. In Murugan vs. Union of India WPC 749/2017 decided on 06.09.2017, the Supreme Court has allowed medical termination of pregnancy beyond the statutory outer limit prescribed in the 1971 Act considering the fact that the victim girl was 13 years old and in trauma, even though the Board stated that termination will have equal danger for the mother. The bench also noted the reported cases of Z vrs. State of Bihar and Others, (2018) 11 SCC-572), Sheetal vs. Union of India (2018) 11 SCC 606, Sarmishta vs. Union of India, 2018 13 SCC 339 and Mamta vs. Union of India (2018) 14 SCC 289, wherein Termination of pregnancy has been allowed by different High Courts in some cases. The Bench particularly takes into consideration to case of Mujid Khan vs. Chhatisgarh 2018 SCC online CHSGH 791. In that case the petitioner was the father of the victim of rape and sexual violence. The reasons which persuaded Orissa High Court to pass the order for termination of pregnancy are enumerated below:
- Conception by the minor girl (victim) is a result of the offence of rape committed by Opp. Party No.5. This fact is well decipherable from the statement under Section 164 Criminal Procedure Code, 1974 of the victim girl as well as her statement before the medical Board.
- The unwed mother (victim girl), is a minor and has to undergo the ignominy of an undesirable pregnancy. It will hamper her further physical and mental growth. It will also affect her future education prospects.
- The social sigma the minor victim will face will be insurmountable in this case as the petitioner and his daughter belong to very humble walk of life.
- The social sigma the unborn child will face is also a matter of great concern to us as the child will definitely be viewed with disdain and will be looked down upon as an undesirable child by his/ her peers in society.
- The Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Act, 1971 does not allow medical termination pregnancy after 20 weeks , the Central Government in its wisdom has introduced a bill for enhancing this period to 24 weeks . From the statement and objects of the reasons of the Amendment Act of 2020, it is apparent that the present development of medical science makes it imperative for the amendment of provision of Section 3 of the Act to extend this permissible outer limit of pregnancy for termination.
- The committee in this case has also opined that the mental health problem of the victim may have adverse impact on the future of the victim on social ground.
- The Committee has not recommended for termination in view of Sec-3 of the Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Act, 1971 but has not stated that termination of pregnancy at this stage will pose any threat to the life of the victim girl.