Child born out of rape is reminder shall be reminder of trauma and agony to mother: Court allows minor rape victim to terminate her 26-week pregnancy

The Punjab and Haryana Court, on Wednesday allowed a minor girl rape victim to terminate her 26-week pregnancy, stating ‘child born out of rape shall be a reminder of trauma and agony.’ 

In addition, a Bench of Justice Vinod S Bharadwaj directed the medical board director at the Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College and Hospital, Mewat, to conclude the medical termination of the pregnancy upon attaining all the necessary conditions as prescribed in law. 

What’s the case? 

The court’s observation came while hearing a petition the victim filed through her father. The petition stated that the minor was subjected to a horrific rape, due to which she got pregnant.

An FIR under sections 363, 366-A, 376, 450 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 4 and 17 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, was lodged on October 21, 2022, in Nuh.

Court’s observation:

The pregnancy is a result of a violation of the fundamental rights of a minor. The newborn is a testimony to her bruised body and soul, and the born child will never remind her of anything good, instead will remind her of trauma and agony she had to undergo,” observed the court.

The court further said that an unwanted child might suffer more trauma in his life in the form of taunts and sarcasm to his origin. 

In either of the above mentioned situation, the mother as well as the child is likely to suffer social stigma and incarceration for rest of their lives. The situation will not be in the best interest of either the mother and her family, which has already expressed their unwillingness to bring up their child,” Justice Bharadwaj observed. 

Able to live with dignity:

Life is not just about breathing, but it is about being able to enjoy and live with dignity. Where the denial of dignity and social as well as family acceptance or approval is a writing on the wall, it compounds agony of the child and lead to greater injustice.”

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Whether to shape the trauma of a victim or to prolong it by delivery of the child, who is to be only victimised. The choices thus reduce and it seems more prudent to allow the termination of pregnancy,” the court observed.

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