Ten year old mother granted compensation for delay in legal proceedings seeking permission for abortion

The Supreme Court has granted compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs to a ten year old girl, whose plea for abortion had earlier been rejected by it on the advice of a medical board. The girl had initiated legal proceedings in Chandigarh for permission to abort the foetus at 25 weeks, but the same was rejected by the District Court. By the time she approached the Supreme Court, she was already 32 weeks pregnant, and abortion at that stage was considered less risky than the delivery of the foetus, considering the health of the girl as well as her foetus, resulting in denial of permission by the Supreme Court as well.

Considering the delay caused in the legal proceedings, and the medical attention that the girl may require immediately as well as in the future, the Supreme Court directed that an amount of Rs. 10 lakhs be granted to her as compensation.  It is important to highlight the double violation inflicted on the pregnant child- an increasingly reported trend nowadays- who is dependent on a law that makes abortion conditional on court orders and medical boards. Under cases where pregnancy occurs as a result of child sexual abuse, abortions need to be legalised without having to seek interventions and advice from courts or medical boards.

Alakh Alok Srivatsava v Union of India [Writ Petition (Civil) No(s).565/2017]

NipunSaxena and Ors v Union of India and Ors[Writ Petition (Civil) No(s).565/2012]