Legal

Supreme Court: Pregnant Rape Victim Must Be Told About Legal Rights

By
OB Bureau

New Delhi: A rape victim who becomes pregnant must be told about her legal rights, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

The two-member bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and justice AS Bopanna was hearing a plea for setting up of medical boards in states and union territories to decide cases of unwanted pregnancies of over 20 weeks for termination, The Indian Express reported.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 prohibits termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks.

“If a woman is raped and is pregnant, she must be told about her legal rights,” said Bobde.

The bench took up the issue of setting up of medical boards in every state and UT after lawyer VK Biju decided not to seek permission to terminate the 26-week pregnancy of a 14-year-old rape victim apparently due to a medical opinion.

The apex court has sought the Centre’s response in four weeks’ time.

The victim’s lawyer said he was not seeking the permission to abort now, but sought setting up of medical boards in states. “When I was drafting this petition, I had seen the pain of the parents (of the girl)”.

OB Bureau

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