A bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and RI Chagla was hearing a plea filed by a woman who was pregnant beyond the 20-week permissible limit for termination under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
As per her plea, a sonography on May 14 revealed she was 18 weeks pregnant.
However, the woman filed her plea seeking permission to terminate the pregnancy only on June 15, the court noted in its order.
The woman told HC she approached it late due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The petitioner said she was mentally unprepared for the pregnancy, her financial situation too was not adequate to raise a child, and considering her "advanced age" she be permitted to undergo an abortion.
She also said continuing with the pregnancy would cause her mental trauma.
She cited several previous judgments of Bombay HC and the Supreme Court where women were permitted to terminate pregnancies even after the 20-week limit on account of their mental wellbeing.
The bench, however, said such permissions were granted in specific cases where the courts felt that continuing such pregnancy could cause lifelong mental anguish to a petitioner, or it could harm the welfare of the child to be born.
It agreed with the Union government''s submission that the petitioner in this case did not have any legal grounds to seek relief.
The bench also noted that a medical board which assessed the petitioner''s physical and mental health following the court''s previous order, did not recommend termination of her pregnancy.
"Despite the observations in the sonography report, the petitioner has filed this petition only on 15th June, i.e, after expiry of statutory limit of 20 weeks for termination of pregnancy," the bench said.
"We are of the considered view that the reasons given for medical termination of pregnancy beyond the statutory limit, that the petitioner and her family are in no condition financially and/or that the petitioner would be of an advanced age of 39 years and not be mentally prepared to be a mother are not valid grounds for termination of pregnancy under the said Act," the HC said. PTI AYA BNM BNM
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI