The Delhi High Court has allowed a 16-year-old rape victim, who is 22-week-pregnant, to undergo termination of the pregnancy after a clinical psychologist said continuation of pregnancy would result in “psychological complications”.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the girl to be admitted to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for necessary procedures.

The court had on last hearing asked the Superintendent of the hospital to form a medical board to examine the minor and report whether termination of the pregnancy involved risk. “In view of the report and psychological assessment of the petitioner, it does appear that the petitioner [minor girl] is at considerable risk of psychological complications if the pregnancy is continued,” the court said.

“The doctors have explained that there may be some risks in terminating the pregnancy but the same are not higher than what is acceptable and expected at this stage,” it noted.

The court’s direction came on a plea of the girl seeking court’s permission to medically terminate the pregnancy as she found about her pregnancy at an advanced stage.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act stipulates a ceiling of 20 weeks for termination of pregnancy, beyond which abortion of a foetus is statutorily impermissible.

The girl, in her plea, stated that she had not been keeping well for the past one-and-a-half years and used to faint quite often. She said once, when she regained consciousness, “one Pankaj bhaiya”, the accused, was there. The plea said she suspected something had happened when she was unconscious.

Later on, when she started feeling nauseous and dizzy, she was taken for medical check-up, where she was found pregnant. A case was registered against the alleged offender.

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