The Bombay High Court, granted liberty to a victim of domestic violence to terminate, 23-week-old pregnancy after it was said that the woman had asked for divorce proceedings against the husband who denied to share the burden of raising the child (XYZ v. State of Maharashtra). She was also in the process of filing petition for dissolution of marriage by decree of divorce.
The Bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Madhav J Jamdar held that ‘mental health’ is more than just the absence of mental disorders or illness and it is the effect of pregnancy on ‘mental health’ of the woman that needs to be taken into account under Section 3(2)(b)(i) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The Court noted that the word used in the provision is ‘mental health’ and not ‘mental illness’. The Court granted liberty to the petitioner to go through medical termination of her pregnancy at Dr RN Cooper Hospital, Mumbai without any further loss of time.
Advocate Aditi Saxena appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the petitioner was subjected to domestic violence by her husband. The petitioner would not receive financial and emotional support of her husband without which it would be difficult for her to raise the child.