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Delhi HC reserves order on woman's plea seeking termination of 33-week pregnancy

New Delhi: The Delhi High court on Monday reserved an order on a plea of a woman seeking permission for medical termination of pregnancy of a 33-week foetus suffering from the cerebral deformity.
The High Court reserved the order after considering the medical report of the medical board of LNJP hospital and hearing the views of the doctors. The medical board gave a negative report denying the termination of the pregnancy.

Justice Prathiba M Singh after hearing the submissions and perusing the report reserved the order till Tuesday. The court will pronounce the orders tomorrow morning.
The medical board at LNJP has declined to undergo termination of pregnancy in view of complications.
Justice Singh, after perusing the report, said that if they are unable to predict the degree of disability then how can they be sure that there will be any disability.
Advocate Aneesh Madhukar submitted to the court that the cerebral deformity has been identified. The child is not going to be a normal child after delivery.
He also submitted that the doctors at GTB Hospital did not deny to terminate the pregnancy, they only asked for an order from the court.

The court asked, "Is there any danger delivering the child, have they said anything?
The counsel for Delhi Government said that they (Doctors) generally do not say anything on this aspect, they only opine on the medical part.
The counsel for the petitioner said that the possibility of the normal delivery is concerned it may get complicated during the procedure.
He also said that as far as cerebral dysfunction is concerned when the child is born he would not be a normal one.
The court asked, "What kind of abortion it would be?"
The court asked the counsel for Delhi Government to get the doctors along with a neurologist to join the proceedings.
Neurologist Dr Chandra Shekhar who joined through video conferencing said that the child would survive but the quality of life cannot be predicted. The child can be operated upon after adequate time after delivery. It would be a normal surgery.

Dr Rachna Sharma also joined virtually and said the child would be delivered normally through medicine, if it does not work then they would go for surgery. This is not an abortion, it would be delivery, and there are chances of the child surviving.
The counsel for the petitioner said that the child might survive but what would be the quality of life? The court should consider the anguish and pain the mother is facing. If the child is not okay, then it would be for the rest of the life, the counsel said.
The court also interacted with the petitioner and her husband.
The court on Monday morning pulled the LNJP hospital administration for delaying the examination of a woman who is seeking permission for termination of 33 weeks foetus who is suffering from cerebral abnormality.
On Friday, the High Court directed the medical board at LNJP hospital to examine the woman seeking termination of pregnancy. The hospital was directed to file a report by Monday.

Justice Prathiba M Singh asked the counsel for the hospital, "She has been there since 9 am. It is 10:30 am. Who is the doctor concerned who made her wait?"
The counsel for LNJP Hospital submitted that in view of advanced pregnancy and complications therein, the medical board also wanted a neurologist in the team. An MRI of the fetus was to be done on Monday.
The court asked, "Why this was not done this morning?"
The counsel for the hospital said that there was a delay due to administrative reasons and election duty.
The bench also noted the submission made by advocate Anwesh Madhukar, counsel for the petitioner that the petitioner has approached the GTB hospital but the examination could not be conducted as the medical board has not been constituted there.
The counsel for Delhi Government submitted that the petitioner may be referred to AIIMS or LNJP where there are already medical boards.

After noting the submissions the bench directed LNJP to conduct an examination and file a report.
The petitioner is a 26-year-old married woman from Noida who is pregnant for 33 weeks.
She approached the High court through advocate Prachi Nirwan, Pranjal Shekhar and Yaseen Siddiqui.
The petitioner submitted that she has undergone periodic ultrasounds and no abnormality was reported.
It was the first time on November 11 when the abnormality in the brain of the foetus was found. It was also confirmed by another ultrasound done on November 14.
She approached the GTB Hospital. The termination of her pregnancy shall require judicial intervention since the current gestational age of the petitioner is beyond the permissible limits i.e. 24 weeks as per the Amended Act effective from September 24, 2021.
However, it is submitted that the limitation as provided under the said Act i.e. 20/24 weeks is not applicable to the case of the petitioner as attributed by Section 3(2B), MTP Act, 1971 since the foetus borne by the petitioner carries substantial cerebral abnormalities, as a result of which grave mental injury is being caused to the Petitioner herein. (ANI)

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