SC seeks responses on plea for compensation to rape victim

first_imgA day after a 10-year-old rape victim gave birth in a Chandigarh hospital, the Supreme Court sought responses from the Central and the Chandigarh authorities on a plea to pay her ₹10 lakh in compensation.On July 27, faced with a medical opinion that an abortion would endanger the lives of both the girl and her 32-week-old foetus, the Supreme Court was compelled to refuse the medical termination of the pregnancy. Appearing before a Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta on Friday, senior advocate Indira Jaising, in an oral mentioning, said Chandigarh authorities have been insisting on a charge sheet before considering the question of payment of any compensation.“That is no answer…what they say is absurd. We will issue notice to the Chandigarh administration,” the Bench said.“Yesterday, this court had given a compensation of ₹10 lakh to a woman in a similar kind of case. Here is a 10-year-old mother who cannot look after the child. Nothing has been paid so far to her,” Ms. Jaising, who represents the interests of the girl, submitted.The court has also sought a response from the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and District Legal Services Authority of Chandigarh and posted the matter for further hearing on August 22. The court had on July 17 directed the Bihar government to pay ₹10 lakh compensation to a destitute woman who was allegedly raped and not allowed to abort her 26-week pregnancy after a medical board’s opinion. The court found that the woman, who is also HIV positive, had gone to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) to get her pregnancy terminated when she was in the 17th week of pregnancy.Earlier, in the 10-year-old’s case, while expressing its inability to intervene on her behalf, the Supreme Court had strongly urged the Centre to set up permanent medical boards in all States so that women, especially child rape victims, could receive expedient access to medical care.The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 bars abortion if the foetus has crossed the 20-week mark. An exception to the law can be made if a registered medical practitioner certifies to the court that continuing with the pregnancy would be life-threatening for the mother and the baby.last_img

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