NEW DELHI: Ensuring proper medical treatment and monetary help for the 10-year-old rape victim who had delivered a child after abortion was denied to her, the Supreme Court on Friday directed Chandigarh’s legal service authority to disburse a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to her.
A bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked the Chandigarh administration to make sure that the identity of the minor victim was not revealed and that the balance of Rs 9 lakh was kept as a fixed deposit.
The order came after a petition sought Rs 10 lakh compensation for the victim, whose plea seeking permission to undergo termination of pregnancy was earlier turned down by the apex court The court also directed that no one should disclose the identity of the newborn baby, the victim’s parents, their place of work and their residence. Any breach in maintaining confidentiality would attract contempt of court and action under provision of the Indian Penal Code.
The court said facilities, including medical care and counselling would be provided to the victim free of cost, and directed that hospital authorities would keep her medical record sealed. The victim would be given counselling only at her home unless it is necessary to take her to a hospital.
The order also clarifies that the victim would now be identified as ‘Ms. Z’ in the hospital records. The court also directed amicus curiae Indira Jaising to submit a scheme, on September 1, for setting up a trust that would help get donation for minor victims.
The apex court had on July 28 dismissed the plea seeking its nod for terminating the 32-week-old pregnancy of the rape survivor. Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act prohibits abortion of a foetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy. But with the changing lifestyle, time has come when the government should amend the 45-year-old MTPA act.
Interestingly, China allows abortion till 28 weeks while UK, Greece, Singapore and Netherlands permit it till 24 countries.