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Gujarat High Court References 'Manusmriti' to Discuss Early Marriage and Abortion of Minor's Pregnancy

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      13 June, 2023 12:15 AM      0 Comments
Gujarat High Court References 'Manusmriti' to Discuss Early Marriage and Abortion of Minor's Pregnancy

NEW DELHI: The Gujarat High Court has said it is difficult to allow abortion of foetus of six or seven months carried by a minor above 16-year, citing 'Manusmriti' to point out the girls used to get married early and became mother by the age of 17.

“There is anxiety because we are living in the 21st century. Ask your mother or great-grandmother. Fourteen-fifteen was the maximum age (for marriage), and girls used to give birth to their first child before turning 17. And girls get mature before boys. Though you may not read, but you should read Manusmriti once," Justice Samir J Dave told a counsel for the rape survivor.

The was hearing a plea by father of a rape survivor for termination of her pregnancy.

Advocate Sikander Saiyed pointed towards the age of the girl, which was just above 16 years, to emphasise why abortion was important.

Had she been in her 20s, it could have been a different scenario, he said.

"It would be difficult for the court to pass the abortion order because a 6 or 7-month-old foetus can survive premature delivery in the incubator," the bench said.

“If any serious ailment is there in the foetus or the girl, the court can certainly consider. If both are normal, it would be very difficult for the court to pass such type of order,” the bench added.

The court, however, decided to seek opinion of medical experts in the matter by directing the medical superintendent of the civil hospital, Rajkot to conduct a medical examination of the rape survivor through a panel of doctors on an urgent basis.

It also directed to carry out an ossification test of the applicant survivor to ascertain her age and examination of her mental condition by a psychiatrist of the civil hospital.

The court also sought opinion of the panel of doctors whether it is advisable to terminate the pregnancy and the condition of the foetus.
 



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