Justice Sandeep Mehta han and doctor justice Pushpendra Singh Bhati made a remark regarding right of a minor rape victim to make reproductive choice. The decision was taken by division bench after it was appealed.
The single judge bench observed that:
There needs to be a balance between right to privacy of the victim and the right to life.
The court further directed that the child born to the respondent victim will be provided all the remedy measures as per the Juvenile justice care and protection of children act 2015 by the respondent NGO as well as the state government. In case the child is not adopted upon attaining a suitable age he shall be admitted into a good School as per right of children to free and compulsory Education Act 2019.
Right to life of victim outwards the right to life of foetus, the bench observed that the women’s right to privacy, dignity and bodily integrity is fundamental right guaranteed by article 21 of the Constitution of India. Observed in the case Suchita Srivastava & Anr. Vs Chandigarh Administration, (2009) 9 SCC 1.
The division bench also emphasizes that the single judge did not appreciate the settled position of law that the right to reproductive choice include both procreation as well as abstention therefrom.
Further the code said that the state government shall frame suitable guidelines for the pregnant women who are victims of rape, they will be provided with adequate legal and medical assistance.
No sooner, the factum of a victim of sexual assault having become pregnant is reported, the Medical Officer/ SHO of the police station concerned, shall approach the victim with female counsellor and will guide under MPT act
If termination of pregnancy is chosen my victim it will be processed within 20 weeks as provided under MPT Act
Also the identity of the victim in such cases shall not be disclosed.