Man 'forces' wife to abort, denied bail

The Delhi High Court has denied anticipatory bail to a woman’s husband and in-laws who allegedly forced her to swallow abortion pills for causing a miscarriage.

Sympathising with a “traumatised” Aarti Gupta, Justice R V Easwar said “at this age, serious damage could have been caused to her reproductive system by forcing her to swallow abortion pills without medical advice or supervision. With the serious nature of the allegations made in the complaint, the applications for anticipatory bail cannot be allowed. I reject them,” the court said, directing police to provide protection to Aarti at her parental home.

The woman's husband, Ashish Gupta, and his parents had moved court with anticipatory bail pleas saying that the matter has now been settled between him and his wife and she had agreed to withdraw the police complaint.

The court, however, took note of victim’s statement before the trial court in which she alleged that was made to consume the pills forcibly and was under pressure to give a statement exonerating the accused.

“The so-called settlement between the complainant and her husband appears unreal and concocted,” said the court.

“I have carefully considered the rival submissions and weighed the circumstances of the case. The complainant (Aarti) is present in court. From her demeanour and the manner in which she responded to the queries of the court, it appears that she is under tremendous pressure,” said Justice Easwar.

Aarti, who married to Ashish in January, said in her complaint to police in April that her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law used to torture her and also abused her verbally. She also alleged that they used to taunt her for having an “illicit affair” and when she got pregnant, they alleged that the child in her womb was not of her husband but of the paramour and which is why, they made her swallow the abortion pills. In her complaint, Aarti referred to some “sadhu baba” whose assistance was taken by her husband and the in-laws for causing the miscarriage.

The High Court also asked the trial court to verify the age of Aarti at the time of the marriage and directed police to trace the sadhu baba.

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