The Delhi High Court has directed that a 14-year-old pregnant girl be shifted to a children’s home here for necessary care after the minor as well as her guardian refused to give consent for medical termination of pregnancy.
Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani noted that the petitioner girl, who is 27-weeks pregnant, wanted to carry the pregnancy to full term and her brother, the guardian, also took the same stand.
The pregnancy was stated to be the result of physical relations between the girl and a man facing criminal proceedings under POCSO Act
The petitioner had earlier approached the high court seeking a direction to the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital to constitute a medical board to evaluate the possibility of medical termination of her pregnancy but subsequently changed her mind and said she wished to marry the accused.
“In the circumstances, the present petition is disposed of with the following direction: The petitioner be shifted forthwith from ‘Sakhi One-Stop Centre’, IHBAS Hospital Complex, Shahdara, Delhi to Childrens Home for Girls-IV, Nirmal Chayya, New Delhi … for being put under necessary care and protection, in accordance with the mandate of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, as per their norms and procedure,” said the court in an order passed earlier this month.
The court recorded that the clear position of law in relation to medical termination of pregnancy is that it only requires the consent of the ‘woman’ and since she is a minor in the present case, the law required that consent be taken from the ‘guardian’.
It also recorded that as per the medical board’s report, the petitioner communicated her wish to continue pregnancy till term and to give up the baby later for adoption and the Child Welfare Committee suggested placing her in “Home for Pregnant and Lactating Mothers” being the Children’s Home for Girls-IV, Nirmal Chayya in order to ensure proper antenatal care to the child and proper assistance for a safe delivery.
The counsel for the petitioner urged the court to summon the accused in the matter in order to ascertain his wishes in light of the fact that the petitioner expressed the desire to marry him.
The court, however, said it was not inclined to enlarge the scope of the petition by calling the accused as the prayers here were limited to medical termination of the petitioner’s pregnancy.