38.6c New Delhi, India, Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Judiciary

“Vital Organs Developed, Termination Of Pregnancy Impossible”: Kerala HC Rejects Plea Seeking Relief For 14-Year-Old Rape Survivor Despite Statutory Rape [Read Judgment]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      07 December, 2023 11:55 AM      0 Comments
Vital Organs Developed Termination Of Pregnancy Impossible Kerala HC Rejects Plea Seeking Relief For Year Old Rape Survivor Despite Statutory Rape

In a significant case, the Kerala High Court declined to authorize the abortion of a 30-week pregnancy borne by a 14-year-old rape survivor despite it being a case of "statutory rape” under the provisions of the Protection of the Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. 


“I am, therefore, of the firm view that this is not a case where the provisions of 'the Act' can come to the aid of the petitioner, though she and her daughter ought to be offered every protection available in law, to ensure that the latter delivers her baby and is able to take care of her, within the parameters of the statutory and executive realm”, Justice Devan Ramachandran said.


The Court was hearing the plea seeking the medical termination of pregnancy of a 14-year-old rape survivor; the girl was sexually assaulted by the accused who is now in custody under the POCSO Act. 


At the outset, the Court noted that there were two lives at stake – one, that of the minor child – who is continuing with the pregnancy, and that of the foetus, which, according to the uncontested Medical Report, is at 30 weeks of gestation with a good foetal heart.


The Court also noted that the matter was heard at least thrice and three different interim orders were passed in the matter. 


When the matter was taken up for hearing on December 1, the Government Pleader – Vidya Kuriakose, submitted that all necessary measures had been taken to ensure that the child is brought back to her home, to be in the company and comfort of her parents, so that she can continue with the pregnancy and deliver the child without mental strain or stress. 


She added that the victim child has, in fact, had been brought to her home and every possible measure is being taken in accordance with the court’s interim order dated November 23, 2023 to keep her safe and away from harm. 


Advocate M Kabani Dinesh, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that since the pregnancy was the outcome of an act of rape on her client's child, she is entitled to the protection of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. 


After analysing the arguments at hand, the Court took note of the “twist” here, i.e., as the records stated that the victim child had not been forced. However, this too would come under the ambit of statutory rape under the POCSO Act, the Bench agreed. 


Since the pregnancy is now very advanced, as per the Medical Board, the “uterus corresponded to 30 weeks of gestation with good foetal heart”. The foetus has, in fact, life with heart rate; and hence, termination of the pregnancy at this stage is impossible, as also untenable, the Court’s order recorded. 


“The Medical Board is also unambiguously of the view, as available from the record, that termination is not possible, but that the baby can only be taken out through a Caesarean section - which is to say, that it will be born alive, with a prognosis of a good life in future”, the Court noted. 


The Court further indicated that there weren’t any risks associated with the victim child's health nor were there any lethal foetal abnormalities detected. “The pregnancy is almost in its 9th month and the foetus is gaining weight and fat, getting closer to its eventual birth weight. Its vital organs, like the brain and lungs, are almost fully developed, preparing for life outside the womb”, the Court stated. 


And so, the Court can’t grant the petitioner’s prayer despite being fully empathetic with the condition she and her family is going through, since the victim child is so young.


While closing the writ petition, the Court also directed the jurisdictional Child Protection Officer to visit the victim child on a regular basis and offer all kinds of support for continuing the pregnancy and the delivery. The officer was also directed to contact the Doctors and other professionals for the delivery. In case of any issue, the Court also directed the petitioners to move the Court seeking relief. 


“Needless to say, the liberty of the petitioner and her daughter to approach the competent Court under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, or such other applicable laws, with respect to the child to be born, is left open; and they will also be given adequate assistance and counselling in this regard by the Child Protection Officer.”

 

[Read Judgment]



Share this article:

About:

Explore Comprehensive Legal Reporting with LawStreet Journal: Your Go-To Source for Supreme Court an...Read more

Follow:
TwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Kerala HC Quashes 498A Dowry Harassment Case Against Live-In Partner, Citing Lack of Relative Status [Read Order] Kerala HC Quashes 498A Dowry Harassment Case Against Live-In Partner, Citing Lack of Relative Status [Read Order]

Read about a recent judgment by the Kerala High Court that quashed a dowry harassment case against a woman in a live-in relationship. The court ruled that she couldn't be considered a relative under Section 498A of the IPC, highlighting the importance of precise legal definitions.

Watching porn on mobile: Kerala HC highlights importance of mother cooked meals, outdoor sports [Read Order] Watching porn on mobile: Kerala HC highlights importance of mother cooked meals, outdoor sports [Read Order]

Kerala High Court emphasizes the importance of outdoor sports, home-cooked meals, and parental supervision, discouraging the gifting of mobile phones to minors. Learn why the court quashed a case related to private porn viewing and the need for responsible parenting.

Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal Disqualified from Lok Sabha After Conviction Suspension Plea Rejected by Kerala High Court [Read Notice] Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal Disqualified from Lok Sabha After Conviction Suspension Plea Rejected by Kerala High Court [Read Notice]

Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal PP faces disqualification from Lok Sabha as Kerala High Court rejects plea to suspend his conviction in an attempt to murder case. Get the latest updates on his legal battle.

Supreme Court Grants Stay on Conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in Attempted Murder Case Supreme Court Grants Stay on Conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in Attempted Murder Case

Stay tuned for the latest legal developments as the Supreme Court suspends the conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in an attempt to murder case. Get insights into this high-profile case and its impact on his political career.

TRENDING NEWS

women-including-housewife-approach-ncw-against-controversial-ips-officer-gyaneshwar-singh
Trending Crime, Police And Law
Women, including housewife, approach NCW against controversial IPS officer Gyaneshwar Singh

Two women approach NCW against controversial IPS officer Gyaneshwar Singh, citing harassment for tweets based on news reports about his involvement in high-profile cases.

17 June, 2024 03:10 PM
courts-this-week-law-street-journal-s-weekly-round-up-of-sc-anf-hcs-june-10-june-15
Trending Judiciary
Courts this Week: Law Street Journal's Weekly Round-Up of SC & HCs [June 10 - June 15]

Get the latest updates from the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts ! Here’s a round up of the week's top legal stories in a quick, easy-to-read summary.

17 June, 2024 03:29 PM

TOP STORIES

bjp-workers-stabbed-near-village-masjid-for-celebrating-pm-narendra-modis-victory-by-raising-bharat-mata-ki-jai-slogan
Trending Crime, Police And Law
BJP workers stabbed near village Masjid, for celebrating PM Narendra Modi's victory by raising 'Bharat Mata ki Jai slogan'

BJP workers stabbed near village Masjid in Karnataka for celebrating Narendra Modi's third term as PM.

12 June, 2024 12:11 PM
meghwal-assumes-charge-as-minister-of-state-ind-in-law-and-justice-ministry
Trending Executive
Meghwal assumes charge as Minister of State (Ind) in Law & Justice Ministry

Arjun Ram Meghwal assumes charge as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Law & Justice, focusing on speedy justice and awareness of new criminal laws.

12 June, 2024 12:39 PM
allahabad-high-court-quashes-fir-grants-protection-to-adult-couple-who-married-against-familys-wishes
Trending Judiciary
Allahabad High Court quashes FIR, grants protection to adult couple who married against family’s wishes [Read Order]

Allahabad High Court quashes FIR, protects couple who married against family’s wishes, emphasizing their constitutional rights and condemning threats to their lives.

12 June, 2024 02:00 PM
inform-on-action-taken-against-tanker-mafia-sc-asks-delhi-govt-on-water-crisis
Trending Judiciary
'Inform on action taken against tanker mafia,' SC asks Delhi govt on water crisis

SC demands Delhi govt to explain action against tanker mafia amid water crisis, heatwave in the capital. Affidavit required on measures taken by June 13.

12 June, 2024 03:52 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email