Advocate Indira Jaising seeks monetary compensation for 10-year-old rape survivor
Denied permission to abort her 32-month-old foetus owing to the grave threat to her life, a 10-year-old rape survivor delivered a baby on Thursday. On Friday, senior lawyer and noted human rights activist Indira Jaising moved the Supreme Court seeking at least a Rs 10 lakh compensation for the girl saying "She was just a kid and cannot look after the baby without major financial assistance and proper rehabilitation". A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta sought the view of the Centre, administration of Chandigarh to where she belonged and the district legal services authority and posted the matter for further hearing on August 22.
Jaising also cited the case in which the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Bihar government to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to the destitute woman, who was allegedly raped and not allowed to abort her 26-week pregnancy after a medical board's opinion.
On July 28 the apex court refused the plea of the girl, impregnated after she was repeatedly raped by her uncle, to undergo abortion citing "grave threat" to her life. The court took the decision after considering a report to this effect submitted by medical board set up by Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh on the directions of the court. "The medical board is satisfied that it will be neither in the interest of the child or the live foetus, which is approximately 32-week-old to order abortion", said the bench.
The CJI also raised concern with Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar that such cases were piling up in the apex court and "that too when time is too short for us to decide". The Chief Justice told the Centre that till the time bill for extending the legal limit of abortion was pending some alternative mechanism should be there at state level for medical tests.
The long-awaited Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, which contemplates the extension of the legal limit for abortion from the present 20 weeks to 24, is pending since June 2014. The Act does not allow a woman to abort if her pregnancy crosses 20 weeks.
However, the courts have made a few exceptions lately where grave risk to life and health of the mother or the foetus was medically established. The shocking and rare medico-legal case "has left many medical experts dumbfounded" because of her age, the counsel for the girl had told the apex court.