HC asks KGMU to examine underage pregnant rape victim

The Allahabad High Court Tuesday asked the King George Medical University to examine if a 21-week-old pregnancy of an underage rape victim can be terminated.

The Lucknow bench of the high court asked the KGMU's vice chancellor to set up a four-member panel to examine the physical and mental condition of the minor girl and ascertain the feasibility of terminating the pregnancy which has exceeded the legally permissable period of 20 weeks.

A bench of justices D K Upadhyay and Alok Mathur also asked the board to submit its report in a sealed cover to it on Thursday.

The bench gave the direction on a plea by the father, made on behalf of the minor girl, who was subjected to sexual exploitation by a man of an age more than that of his father.

In his petition, the victim's father said his daughter was raped by man for which an FIR has already been registered by the police.

"But the girl's pregnancy has come to our knowledge only now, well past the legally permissable period of 20 weeks for the abortion as per the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971," pleaded a distraught father, seeking the court's order for termination of his daughter's pregnancy.

Taking note of the victim's trauma, the bench said, "More disturbing fact which we notice in this case is that as per the FIR, this victim is presently subjected to un-describable agony, that too at the hands of a person more than the age of her father."

"Perhaps, we cannot understand the anguish caused to the victim on account of about 21 weeks of her pregnancy caused by her physical violation," the bench said.

Directing the KGMU vice chancellor to set up a medical board to examine the victim, the court asked her to report to the hospital on Wednesday.

Directing examination of the health of both the girl and her foetus from various medical angles, the court also sought the medical board's opinion on the psychological trauma that the girl might have to undergo if she has to give birth to the child.

"The medical board shall also ascertain from the petitioner and her father or mother about her willingness to get her pregnancy terminated, the bench said in its order.