Pregnant women need bail, not jail:” Himachal Pradesh HC

the Himachal Pradesh High Court observed recently while granting anticipatory bail to a pregnant woman who was co-accused in a case registered under the NDPS Act.

Taking into consideration the adverse effects that may ensue on the pregnant woman’s mental and physical health if she is jailed while pregnant, the Court added that “Heavens will not fall if incarceration is postponed.”

Even when the offenses are highly grave and accusations very severe, they still deserve temporary bail extending to a year after delivery.

there should be no restraints throughout pregnancy, no restraints during labor and delivery, and no restraints at least for a year after giving birth. Every expecting female deserves dignity during motherhood,” the Court said.

The Court noted that while good and nutritious food in prisons may give good physical health, it cannot be a substitute for good mental health.
The Court further expressed concern over the ill effects that a prison environment could have on a child born in jail.

“Taking birth in jail could possibly be such a trauma to the child , potentially creating an everlasting impact on the mind whenever questioned about birth. It is high time to take a contrarian call to the maxim Partus sequitur ventrem.
There should be no restraints throughout pregnancy restraints during labor and delivery, and no restraints at least for a year after giving”, the Court said.

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