Rape Victim cannot be forced to be a Mother: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court permitted a minor who had experienced sexual abuse and was detained in an observation home for murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code to have her pregnancy terminated at 16 weeks through a bench of Justices A.S. Chandurkar and Urmila Joshi-Phalke in the case of ‘A’ v. State of Maharashtra and Anr. (WRIT PETITION No.2823 OF 2022).


The petitioner was being held in an Observation Home in Amravati because she had committed a crime under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. During the course of the investigation, it became clear to the investigating officer that the petitioner is pregnant. As a result, an offence was reported under Section 376 read with Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012. Due to the fact that she is a victim of sexual assault as well, another crime was reported based on the mother’s complaint.

The petitioner claimed that because she comes from a financially underprivileged area, she is unable to raise the child. She has suffered and continues to suffer as a result of the aforementioned incident. She has already gone through pain, and she will continue to do so. As a result, she requested that the Court grant respondent No. 2 permission to end her 12-week pregnancy. She also stated that she was having financial difficulties, therefore she asked for permission to end the pregnancy in light of real facts and circumstances that were at play. The petitioner’s pregnancy is unintended, and both actions violate her right to privacy. The matter was sent to a Medical Board for consideration.


In the aforementioned circumstances, the Medical Board stated that the petitioner’s pregnancy may be terminated if she is a minor girl. She is the victim of sexual assault. Given the aforementioned factors, it is challenging for her to carry the pregnancy. She further contended that the pregnancy was unwanted. If a kid were born in such a situation, the mother would not be able to obtain emotional and monetary assistance from her family. Given that she has no money, it would be difficult for her to raise the child.

Given the aforementioned facts, the court permits the petitioner to have her pregnancy medically terminated at 16 weeks.

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