Calcutta HC Seeks Explanation of Doctors Who Carried Out Medical Termination of Pregnancy of Rape Victim

Expressing displeasure at the medical termination of pregnancy of a rape victim by a team of doctors, the Calcutta High Court sought an explanation from them as to why it was done despite an order to only form a medical board for ascertaining the pros and cons of doing so.

A report filed by the West Bengal government said that the pregnancy has already been terminated.

Observing that such action on the part of the concerned doctors was an over-action, Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya said on Friday that the court had not permitted the medical termination of pregnancy, but had only sought a report regarding its pros and cons.

Justice Bhattacharyya ordered the concerned doctors who carried out the procedure to give an explanation as to why the termination was carried out “in such hot haste” without there being any direction of the court to do so.

The court directed that the report, to be filed before it on February 9, will state if there was any particular cause of such urgency.

Justice Bhattacharyya had on January 29 directed the West Bengal government to form a medical board, which was reported by PTI, to examine the condition of the rape victim who wanted to terminate her pregnancy caused by the incident and file a report before the court on February 2.

The petitioner’s lawyer had submitted before the court that she was suffering grave mental trauma and as such the court may permit the medical termination of the pregnancy which was stated to be between 20 to 24 weeks.

The counsel for the state, while not opposing the prayer, had submitted that as per the petition, the unfortunate incident of rape took place on July 28, 2023, and as such, the pregnancy may be more advanced than pleaded.

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Maintaining that the court was not an expert in the field, Justice Bhattacharyya had said that a medical board is required to be constituted to ascertain the pros and cons of medical termination of the pregnancy of the petitioner.

He had directed that the medical board would comprise at least two members, both of whom must be well-established medical practitioners in their respective fields and one of them must be from the field of gynaecology and the other from the field of paediatrics..

The court had directed that the petitioner be examined at the state-run M R Bangur Hospital here.

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