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Dated Nov 5, 2022

MTP OF 14-yr-old's 34-wk pregnancy not advisable: HC

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court vacation bench on Fri day said it would be inadvisa ble to permit medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) of a 14-year-old alleged rape survivor who is 34 week pregnant after doctors opined that no procedure was advisable due to ongoing infection, but it was safe to continue to full term.

The girl's widowed father had petitioned the HC seeking termination of her "24week" pregnancy. His lawyers, Tanveer Nizam and Mariam Nizam, submitted before a bench of Justices N R Borkar and Kamal Khata, that the accused is a relative of his wife and allegedly raped her repeatedly between November 2021 and May 2022, when he stayed with them.

Nizam submitted that the girl had also informed the police that her mother who had seen her being assaulted was "smothered by the accused" in May and out of fear she did not nform her father earlier of the "assault".

An FIR for rape was filed in October 22.

Additional public prosecutor P P Shinde said the pregnancy is about 34 weeks. The prosecutor, submitted a November 2 report by a medical panel and a November 4 opinion of Dr Ashok Anand of JJ Hospital, which said continuation of pregnancy will not endanger the mother, "however no procedure is advisable at present due to ongoing active infections."

The HC perusing the opinions said terminating the more than 34 week pregnancy would be inadvisable. Shinde said the minor would be taken care of as an indoor patient at the State-run JJ Hospital. The father accepted the doctors' report.

On October 31, the HC had directed the JJ hospital to admit the minor girl and examine her on her MTP petition.

The HC allowed the father's request to amend his petition and seek invocation of the murder offence too against the accused and posted the matter to December 9.