SC: Docs must help minor rape victims [ Aug 26 2017 : The Times of India (Kolkata)]

The Supreme Court on Friday said minor rape victims should not be forced to knock on the doors of a court for getting permission to terminate pregnancies arising out of sexual offences and favoured setting up of a trust for the benefit of a Chandigarh-based 10-yearold rape survivor, who recently delivered a child after being denied abortion. A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said crucial time had been wasted in court proceedings and it became too late and risky to allow the survivor to abort, forcing her to deliver the child. The court said that in such cases, medical practitioners should take a proactive steps to come to the rescue of the victim. The court agreed with the submission of senior ad vocate Indira Jaising, who contended that pregnancy was life-threatening in case of a minor girl and it was the duty of doctors to allow her to undergo abortion. “The provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act are not properly understood by doctors and they are afraid to help the victims in abortion fearing criminal prosecution under Section 312 of Indian Penal Code.“ Referring to the provision, she said that the provision was not applicable in case of minor child as her pregnancy was lifethreatening and abortion was only to save the life of the victim.
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