Supreme Court orders Maharashtra government in abnormal foetus case

dc-Cover-gfgm5ml2pn0egic4l5va2vp1l3-20160721022607.MediSupreme Court of India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to set up a medical board at the KEM Medical College and Hospital, Mumbai to examine the rape victim on Saturday and submit a report on Monday whether the 24 weeks foetus can be medically terminated. She had said the foetus suffered from anencephaly, which means absence of major portion of brain, skull and scalp.

A Bench of Justices J.S. Khehar passed this order after the Maharashtra government consented to set up a medical board.

Earlier Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar for the Centre informed the Bench that the government was willing to set up a medical board at the AIIMS. However, since the girl is in Mumbai, the court asked Maharashtra government to set up the medical board.

The Bench asked the Board to submit a report to the court on Monday when the matter will be heard again. The Bench asked the SG to render assistance on other aspects of the writ petition challenging the provisions of the MTP Act on the ground that imposes a restriction of 20 weeks for carrying out abortion.

The woman said she was a rape victim and her doctors did not allow her abortion stating that the foetus is more than 20 weeks old and termination of pregnancy is prohibited even if there is fatal risk to the mother and the foetus.

The petitioner said that when she came to know that she was pregnant she underwent tests and sonography revealed that the foetus suffered from anencephaly. She contended that 20 weeks ceiling may be reasonable when the law was enacted in 1971 but has ceased to be reasonable today where technology has advanced and it is perfectly safe to abort even up to the 26th week and thereafter.

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