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DNA Test Of The Baby Born To A 10-Year-Old Rape Survivor Does Not Match Her Alleged Rapist

A tragic tale.

14/09/2017 2:26 PM IST | Updated 14/09/2017 2:27 PM IST
Parivartan Sharma / Reuters
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The case of the 10-year-old rape survivor, who was forced to carry her pregnancy to term after the Supreme Court (SC) rejected her abortion plea in July, has just got murkier.

In July this year, the SC ruled against the abortion, accepting the views of the medical panel set up to examine her that the pregnancy had progressed too far along for abortion to be a safe and viable option for her and the 32-week foetus. On 17 August, the 10-year-old survivor delivered a baby girl via C-section at a hospital in Chandigarh.

However, the birth of her daughter has led to shocking revelations. According to a BBC report, the police have reopened her rape case after DNA tests proved that the man accused of raping her — her uncle — was not the baby's father, leading to questions about whether the girl had been raped by multiple men, and if so, who could they be.

The new facts in the case have confounded the police and the girl's family alike. The girl's 40-something maternal uncle was charged with raping her repeatedly over a period of seven months, after she had clearly named him as her abuser, even sharing the details of her abuse in her statement to the police.

The Daily Mail reported that the accused had confessed to the crime and was being tried in a special court dealing with crimes against children. The survivor had testified in court too, via video-conferencing.

"So far no-one had thought of any other possibility," BBC quoted an official involved with the investigation as saying.

The girl's mother has also told investigators that they do not suspect anyone else, making further investigations in the case harder.

In light of the new facts, the police's first course of action will be to order a fresh DNA test to ensure there was no error the first time, reported the Evening Standard.

The survivor continues to remain unaware that she is now the biological mother of a child. Throughout her pregnancy, even as she received counselling, all she knew was that she was a little unwell and needed to rest at home. When she had to be taken to the hospital to deliver the baby at 35 weeks, she was told by her parents that she needed to be operated to remove a stone from her stomach, reported CNN.

The baby girl, born slightly underweight at 2.2 kilos, was moved to a neo-natal Intensive Care Unit. The survivor was stable and was kept in a separate room. The victim's father has asked for the baby to be put up for adoption. The infant will remain in the care of authorities until she is adopted.

The horrific incident of the rape and pregnancy came to light when the girl complained of a severe stomach ache. Medical examinations revealed that the pregnancy was already in its third trimester, at 26 weeks, which is when the girl told her mother the sordid tale of her repeated rape.

On July 18, the parents petitioned a district court in Chandigarh to allow the girl to terminate the late-term pregnancy, but their plea was rejected.

According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971, the legal ceiling for abortions in India is 20 weeks. In more advanced pregnancies, exceptions are made by the courts if the foetus is proved to be genetically unviable or if the pregnancy poses a grave threat to the mother's life.

The parents had then petitioned the SC, but on July 28, the apex court too ruled against the termination on the recommendation of an eight-member expert panel.

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