The Orissa High Court on 23rd September denied to give permission to terminate the pregnancy of a physically and mentally challenged 22-year-old woman, who was a sexual assault survivor and directed the Odisha government to pay as an immediate measure a sum of Rs 5 lakh by way of ex gratia within seven days. The Court even issued an 11 point of guidelines for the State and 14 points general guidelines to follow when they get cases of pregnancies arising from rape.
The court stated that the termination of pregnancy, which is more than 24-week-old, would put the victim life in danger. The court directed the state government to further grant an amount of Rs 3 lakh if she delivers a male child and Rs 5 lakh in case of a female child. The court said that she will also be entitled to receive compensation awarded under the Victim Compensation Scheme. The court said,” The entire education of the yet-to-born child will be the responsibility of the state government.”
The petitioner is a physically and mentally challenged women, who is a resident of a village in the Kujanga police station area in Jagatsinghpur district. She was raped by a local and the police complaint was filed after her parents came to know about it. By the time, her mother approached the high court, seeking permission to terminate the pregnancy, medical reports indicated that the woman was already pregnant for over 20 weeks. Advocates Subhash Chandra Puspalaka, AK Tarai, T Priyadarshini and T Barik represented the petitioner while the State was represented by Additional Standing Counsel BR Behera and Government Advocate Jyoti Prakash.
The District Legal Services Authority(DLSA) has been directed to ensure that the petitioner mother does not mismanage funds.