28/07/2017 4:21 PM IST | Updated 28/07/2017 4:22 PM IST

Supreme Court Rejects Abortion Plea By 10-Year-Old Rape Survivor

The medical board said the abortion was neither good for the girl nor the foetus.

Dictionary word - abortion

A 10-year-old child who was raped repeatedly by her maternal uncle over the past few months, and is almost 7-months pregnant now, will have to carry the baby to full term after the Supreme Court today rejected the plea seeking its nod to terminate the pregnancy.

SC considered the report of the medical board that termination of pregnancy is neither good for the girl nor for the foetus and suggested to the Centre to set up a permanent medical board in each state to take prompt decisions in such cases.

Acting on the directions of the Supreme Court, a medical board comprising senior doctors of the PGIMER examined the girl yesterday.

The court on Monday had sought the response of the Centre on a plea seeking its nod for the rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy and ordered the child's examination by a medical board consented to by one of her parents.

After various tests were conducted, a report was prepared and it was handed over to the member-secretary of the Chandigarh Legal Services Authority in a sealed cover, as directed by the apex court.

The eight-member panel of doctors of PGIMER who examined the girl comprised senior doctors drawn from various departments including pulmonary medicine, gynaecology, paediatrics, radiodiagnosis, cardiology, psychiatry and internal medicine.

A PIL was filed after a Chandigarh district court on 18 July refused to let the girl undergo an abortion. Medical termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks is allowed under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, and courts can make an exception if the foetus is genetically abnormal.

The petition, filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, had sought appropriate guidelines be framed by the top court to set up a permanent medical board in each district of the country for expedient termination of pregnancies in exceptional cases involving child rape survivors.

The petition had also sought a direction to the Centre to amend Section 3 of the MTP Act, so as to permit termination of pregnancy of more than 20 weeks, particularly involving child rape survivors after obtaining requisite opinion from a permanently constituted medical board.

The girl was raped allegedly by her maternal uncle, a hotel worker, who has been arrested. The girl's family has been residing in a servants' quarters here. Her father is a watchman and the mother works as a domestic help.