Delhi HC directs concealing identity of minor girl seeking abortion

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New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Medical Superintendent of LNJP Hospital to withhold the identity of the 14-year-old who is seeking to have her 11-week-old pregnancy terminated.

Additionally, Justice Prathiba M. Singh directed the SHO concerned of the Delhi Police to make sure that neither the identity of the minor nor that of her family be revealed while carrying out the investigation.

The court disposed of the plea for pregnancy termination made by the minor through her mother.

No licenced medical practitioner was willing to perform a pregnancy abortion while hiding her name, it was argued on behalf of the victim’s counsel.

The court granted relief to the minor and took note of its order from January 23 in which the Delhi government was directed to issue a circular directing that the identity of a minor girl who is seeking medical termination of her pregnancy and her family shall not be disclosed in the report prepared by registered medical practitioners to the police.

The apex court’s decision in X v. The Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Govt NCT of Delhi & Anr, which exempted registered medical practitioners from being required to report offences of “consensual sexual activity” under the POCSO Act, was cited by the court.

Given the young girl’s age and the gestational time, the court asked that she get in touch with the LNJP Hospital’s medical superintendent and directed that the pregnancy be terminated because the gestational period is within the MTP Act’s permitted range.

“In terms of the judgment, the report lodged by the concerned registered medical practitioner shall be filed without disclosing identity of the victim of her family. The SHO concerned shall maintain that the identity is not disclosed during the process of investigation. The petition is disposed of,” the court ordered.



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