A writ petition was heard by a division bench of the Bombay High Court consisting of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Milind Jadhav for allowing a pregnancy termination after two weeks under MTP Act, 1971. The plea was rejected by the court.
Facts of the Case
In this case, a writ petition is filed by a woman who visited a Consultant in August 2020 after becoming pregnant for a check-up. The check-up showed that the foetus has left cleft lip and cleft palate deformity which was confirmed by another medical practitioner. The petitioner wants to terminate the pregnancy but section 3 of the Medical Termination Act, 1971 does not allow termination after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore she filed the writ petition to allow her for termination of pregnancy.
Analysis by the Court
It is to be noted that the court rejected the contention of the petitioner to challenge the report of the Medical Board constituted under the Medical Termination Act, 1971. The court then proceeded to analyze the medical report and the legal rules associated with the same.
The court took into consideration the division bench judgment of Bombay High Court XYZ v. Union of India in which the court held that it is permissible for the Writ Courts to issue a direction for termination of pregnancy after the expiry of stipulated period notwithstanding the mandate of the Act of 1971. While doing so, the court has to consider the threat to the mother’s life and the child as to whether they won’t be suffering any kind of mental or physical abnormalities.
With regards to the opinion of the medical practitioner who stated that the foetus has left cleft lip and cleft palate deformity is not of serious nature and can be corrected by proper medical procedures.
The argument of the petitioner that by this pregnancy the mother shall suffer mental trauma was rejected by the court on the ground that in the present case, there is no real ground of mental trauma being given.
The High Court held that the abnormalities the fetus is suffering is treatable as per the report of the medical board and the ground of “mental trauma” sought by the petitioner for terminating this pregnancy does not hold ground in the present case. Hence, pregnancy shall not be terminated.
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