Supreme Court Sets Aside Order of Bombay High Court, Permits Woman to Terminate Foetus With Down Syndrome

Must Read

WhatsApp Emails Delhi HC Judge Asking Her Not To Hear the Plea Challenging New Privacy Policy

The Delhi High Court raised strong objection to an E-mail sent by WhatsApp asking a judge not to hear the plea which challenges its new privacy policy. Justice Pratibha Singh said that the e-mail that was withdrawn later was totally unwarranted as she was anyway going to recuse from hearing the plea which was filed by Rohilla Chaitanya who contends that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp provides 360-degree access to a customer’s virtual activity and is against the fundamental right of privacy.

TRP Scam Case: Bombay HC Extends Protection To Arnab Goswami and Other Employees Till the Next Hearing

On Friday, the Bombay High court extended the protection that was given, to Republic TV’s Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited till January 29th in the alleged case of Television Rating Point manipulation. A status report was submitted by the police to the division bench of Justices S.S.Shinde and Manish Pitale by the Police on the ongoing case.

Plea Seeks FIR Against Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde in Bombay HC for False Info

A plea has been filed in Bombay High Court seeking an FIR against Maharashtra minister Dhananjay Munde who is undergoing times of trouble due to his extra-marital affair. Recently, an FIR had been lodged against Munde by a woman, accusing him of raping her sister. Munde clarified that he was actually in a relationship with that woman and had two children. He accused the two women of blackmailing him.

Writ Petition for Compensation Accepted by Calcutta High Court 

Introduction The Petitioner Purna Ch. Biswas filed a Writ Petition with the complaint that their claims for a higher quantum...

No Members Could Be Disqualified Without Authorisation by Political Party: Gujarat High Court

Excerpt The dispute application no.7 of 2020 filed by respondent no.2 before designated authority. Thereafter the designated authority order dated...

Delhi High Court Directs Delhi Jal Board To Make Supply of Potable Drinking Water

The High Court of Delhi in the matter of Delhi Sainik Cooperation Housing Ltd. v. Union of India &...

Follow us

A full bench of Justice R. Bhanumathi, Indu Malhotra, and Aniruddha Bose allowed a special leave petition, preferred against the Bombay High Court.

Abortion laws in India

Termination of Pregnancy on the grounds of “physical or mental abnormalities” of an unborn child is permitted under section 3(ii) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. A registered medical practitioner can terminate the pregnancy in the given circumstances. But this opinion should be, formed in good faith, considering that-

(i) the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman. And, or of grave injury physical or mental health; or

(ii) there is a risk that the child would suffer from abnormalities as handicapped.

The Lok Sabha passed an amendment bill on March 17, 2020.  It was after realizing that women’s reproductive rights have a long way to go. This bill proposed to extend the gestation period of termination of pregnancy. That is from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. This was on grounds of foetal abnormalities or pregnancies due to sexual violence.

Previous SC rulings on Abortion

Abortion Jurisprudence of the SC is based on recommendations of the Medical Board rather than the women’s choice. The SC observed that denying the right to abortion to a woman conflicts with Article 21 of the Constitution.  It was in Suchita Srivastava’s judgment delivered in 2009. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 allows a woman to terminate her pregnancy. That is if the length of the pregnancy has not exceeded 12 weeks but not 20 weeks.

In May 2020, the Bombay High Court had allowed termination of a 24 weeks pregnancy of a 16-year-old rape victim. The survivor’s father had contended that the victim is likely to suffer mental agony in view of unwanted pregnancy. Soon after that on 27th May 2020 a Division Bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and NR Borkar allowed a petition filed by the minor’s mother seeking permission to terminate the pregnancy. She was a 13-year-old girl who was raped by her father. These are historic examples of the progressive decisions of the Court.

Brief facts of the Case

In the present case, the petitioner Komal Hiwale was pregnant by about 24-25 weeks. She sought termination of pregnancy as Down Syndrome plagues one of her foetuses. By order dated 22.05.2020, the HC had declined to grant permission for foetal reduction. The HC was of the view that it may not be safe for the mother. Also, foetal reduction of one foetus may affect the other normal foetus. Hence she has approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the same matter.

By an order dated 10.06.2020, the Supreme Court directed to reconstitute the Medical Board. They directed the committee to submit a report on the following two issues:

1) To give a further opinion whether the abortion of one foetus will affect the life of the mother;

2) Whether the abortion of one foetus will have an effect on the surviving second foetus.

Arguments before the Court

The Court included Dr Purnima Satoskar, a specialist in Foetal Medicine on the board. In her report, she submitted the petitioner’s dichorionic diamniotic twin pregnancy. The petitioner was around 25 weeks pregnant. Trisomy 21 affects one of the foetuses. The other foetus (foetus A) however, is chromosomally and structurally normal.

She submitted that the foetus suffered from an incurable chromosomal abnormality. In addition, the same is classified in the list of “substantial and serious abnormalities” by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It is in their “Guidance Note for Medical Boards for Terminal of Pregnancy beyond 20 weeks Gestation”.

The Board further opined that the termination of abnormal foetus carries negligible risks to the mother. Further, multiple cases have proven to be safe, with no maternal deaths.

Observation of the Court

The Court observed that it finds no medical reason not to provide treatment of foetal reduction. They can convert the twin pregnancy to singleton pregnancy, and thereby abort the foetus affected with Down Syndrome.

Order

The Court set aside the impugned order of the High Court. It permitted the petitioner-Komal Hiwale to undergo foetal reduction as per the procedure stated by Dr Purnima Satoskar. Further, the petitioner and her husband should consent to this. The Court then disposed of the petition.


Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgements from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe for our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

Latest News

WhatsApp Emails Delhi HC Judge Asking Her Not To Hear the Plea Challenging New Privacy Policy

The Delhi High Court raised strong objection to an E-mail sent by WhatsApp asking a judge not to hear the plea which challenges its new privacy policy. Justice Pratibha Singh said that the e-mail that was withdrawn later was totally unwarranted as she was anyway going to recuse from hearing the plea which was filed by Rohilla Chaitanya who contends that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp provides 360-degree access to a customer’s virtual activity and is against the fundamental right of privacy.

TRP Scam Case: Bombay HC Extends Protection To Arnab Goswami and Other Employees Till the Next Hearing

On Friday, the Bombay High court extended the protection that was given, to Republic TV’s Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited till January 29th in the alleged case of Television Rating Point manipulation. A status report was submitted by the police to the division bench of Justices S.S.Shinde and Manish Pitale by the Police on the ongoing case.

Plea Seeks FIR Against Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde in Bombay HC for False Info

A plea has been filed in Bombay High Court seeking an FIR against Maharashtra minister Dhananjay Munde who is undergoing times of trouble due to his extra-marital affair. Recently, an FIR had been lodged against Munde by a woman, accusing him of raping her sister. Munde clarified that he was actually in a relationship with that woman and had two children. He accused the two women of blackmailing him.

Writ Petition for Compensation Accepted by Calcutta High Court 

Introduction The Petitioner Purna Ch. Biswas filed a Writ Petition with the complaint that their claims for a higher quantum of compensation have not yet...

No Members Could Be Disqualified Without Authorisation by Political Party: Gujarat High Court

Excerpt The dispute application no.7 of 2020 filed by respondent no.2 before designated authority. Thereafter the designated authority order dated 28.10.2020 disqualified the petitioner and...

Delhi High Court Directs Delhi Jal Board To Make Supply of Potable Drinking Water

The High Court of Delhi in the matter of Delhi Sainik Cooperation Housing Ltd. v. Union of India & Ors held that right to...

Punjab & Haryana High Court Orders Security To BJP Leader Alleged for Not Supporting Farmers Protest

The Order had come in the form of a Writ Petition filed by Tikshan Sood under Article 226 of the Constitution. The petition before...

Lahore High Court Outlaws Two-Finger Virginity Test

The Lahore High Court in Pakistan has outlawed the use and conduct of virginity tests, namely, the use of the “two-finger” virginity test and...

London Court Rejects Assange’s Extradition – What Happens Now? 

Earlier last week, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, sitting in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court denied the Government of the U.S.A.'s request to the U.K. to...

Calcutta High Court Decides in Favor of Contractor as He Accidentally Pays an Excessively High Amount

Introduction The present writ petition has been filed for a writ in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents to revoke the Petitioner’s offer as...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -