New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday asked Chandigarh’s Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) to examine a 10-year-old rape victim who is 26 weeks pregnant and ascertain the extent of risk to her life if the court was to allow an abortion.
A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the PGIMER to set up a medical board and conduct the examination on Wednesday, and submit its report in a sealed cover.
Asking the secretary, Chandigarh Legal Services Authority, to assist as amicus curiae, the court directed next hearing of the matter on July 28.
The order came on a PIL by advocate Alok Srivastava who moved the top court after a plea for the medical termination of pregnancy was refused by a district court in Chandigarh on July 18.
The top court also issued a notice to the Central government on the plea which also sought framing of guidelines for setting up of medical boards in every district for an expeditious examination of cases necessitating abortions in incidents of child rape victims.
“Medical experts have categorically opined that if the 10-year-old rape survivor is forced to give birth through normal delivery or C-section, it may be fatal to the life of the girl as well her child,” says the PIL.
The petitioner has also sought amendment of Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, which prohibits termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks.
The top court had on July 3 allowed a Kolkata woman who was 26 weeks pregnant to abort the foetus suffering from serious abnormalities following a report from the city’s premier SSKM Hospital.