SC stays arrest of Ballari doctor accused of terminating rape victim's pregnancy

Last Updated 13 April 2017, 20:03 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the arrest of a woman doctor, accused of terminating pregnancy of an alleged rape victim, since she claimed that she had only referred the victim for ultra sound as enjoined under the law.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued notice to the Karnataka government on a plea made by Ballari-based Dr Keerthi Srinivas to quash the criminal case registered against her in 2015 and the prosecution launched against her under Sections 3 and 4 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 in Ballari's sessions court.

The court, however, refused to allow a plea made by advocate Sanjay M Nuli, appearing for the doctor, to stay her prosecution.

In a brief submission, Nuli submitted the doctor did not carry out abortion of the foetus. “It was self-termination of the pregnancy as the role of the doctor was confined to prescribe some medicine to the victim and refer her to undergo ultra sound,” the counsel claimed.
He also said that all the other accused, except the prime one and the doctor, had already been discharged in the rape case.

The bench, however, said, “Since the offence is related to termination of foetus of beyond 12 week, we will seek response of the state government. There must be some statement of the witness or the victim under Sections 161 (before police) and 164 (before magistrate) of the Criminal Procedure Code against her (petitioner).”

The court put the special leave petition filed by Keerthi for consideration after six weeks.
The doctor has challenged a Karnataka High Court's order of November 2, 2016, wherein her plea for quashing the case was rejected.

“The material on record would clearly indicate that the complainant was beyond 12 weeks pregnant. There has been a clear violation of the provisions of law. It cannot be said that there is no case made out against the petitioner that warrants any trial,” the high court had said.
DH News Service

(Published 13 April 2017, 20:03 IST)

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