The Madhya Pradesh High Court has allowed an 11-year-old rape victim to terminate her 27-week pregnancy.
The court's direction came on Monday on a petition filed before it by the mother of the minor. According to the prosecution, the girl was allegedly raped by her uncle.
Justice Nandita Dubey directed that the termination of pregnancy may be taken up by the respondent authorities (state health department and others) with active and positive assistance of the petitioner and her daughter as early as possible, the prosecutor said.
"It would be the duty of the respondent authorities to provide the best and safest medical assistance to the victim for undertaking the exercise of termination of pregnancy," the court said.
The petitioner, through her counsel, has given an undertaking of taking full responsibility for the risk of pregnancy termination.
The petitioner also assured to indemnify and exonerate the respondent authorities, doctors and all others involved of any responsibility or liability in respect of the outcome of the procedure.
The HC took the undertaking from the petitioner after receiving doctors' opinion following the victim's medical examination.
After the rape victim's examination, a team of three doctors from Jabalpur's Government Medical College and Hospital opined that she was not fit to undergo abortion.
As per the doctors, the victim is antenatal with pregnancy of 27 weeks and two days as on October 17, and this gestational age is beyond that recommended under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.
The petitioners' counsel, however, referred to a previous court order wherein a 13-year-old girl with a similar condition was allowed to terminate the pregnancy.
According to the prosecution, the 11-year-old girl and her brother were living with their uncle at a village in Tikamgarh district since their parents left for work to another place in April this year.
When the parents returned last month, the girl's mother noticed her daughter was pregnant.
According to the prosecution, the uncle had threatened the girl that he will kill her younger brother if she informed about the rape to anybody.
The parents approached the local police and a case was registered.