Tue, 06 Dec 2022 03:48 PM IST
THE DELHI High court on Tuesday allowed a plea seeking permission for the medical termination of 33 weeks pregnancy where the foetus was said to be suffering from a cerebral deformity.
The court allowed the plea in view of uncertainty about the quality of life and the right of a mother to give birth or not when the child is suffering from the abnormality. Justice Prathiba M Singh allowed the petition in view of the medical board's opinion which was not able to state the degree of disability the child may have.
The court allowed the woman to get the pregnancy terminated at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) or Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital or any other recognised hospital of their choice.
The court also said that the choice is of the mother. She has weighed the consequences related to the termination of pregnancy. In view of the mother's choice and chances of dignified and sustainable life, the petition is allowed, the high court said.
Advocate Anwesh Madhukar the counsel for the petitioner said: "it is a progressive judgement in view of the right of a woman and the future complications." The counsel for the petitioner said: "There is a possibility that child will survive. But what would be the quality of life. The court should consider the anguish and pain the mother is facing. If the child is not okay, then it would be for the rest of the life."
Meanwhile, the court asked the counsel for Delhi Government to get the doctors along with a neurologist to join the proceedings, which was joined by Dr Chandra Shekhar through a video conference, who said that the child will survive but the quality of life cannot be predicted.
The neurologist said: The child can be operated upon after adequate time after delivery. It would be a normal surgery.
Meanwhile, gynaecologist Dr Rachna Sharma also joined through the video call and said that the child would be delivered normally through medicine, if it does not work then they would go for surgery. This is not an abortion, it would be a delivery, and there are chances for the child to survive.
The petitioner is a 26 years old married woman from Noida, who approached the High court through advocates Prachi Nirwan, Pranjal Shekhar and Yaseen Siddiqui. It was the first time on November 11 when the abnormality in the brain of the foetus was found. It was also confirmed by another ultrasound done on November 14.
She approached the GTB hospital. Her request qua the termination of her pregnancy on the premise that the said process shall require judicial intervention since the current gestational age of the Petitioner is beyond the permissible limits i.e. 24 weeks as per the Amended Act effective from 24.09.2021
It was also submitted that the limitation as provided under the said Act i.e. 20/24 weeks is not applicable to the case of the Petitioner as attributed by Section 3(2B), MTP Act, 1971 since the foetus borne by the Petitioner carries substantial cerebral abnormalities, as a result of which grave mental injury is being caused to the Petitioner herein.