Bombay High Court Orders Medical Assistance for Pregnant Minor

Bombay HC orders medical aid for pregnant minor denied treatment for not filing FIR. Court directs JJ Hospital assistance, no insistence on police complaint.

The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to provide medical assistance to a 17-year-old pregnant girl who was denied treatment by hospitals for not filing an FIR against the boy responsible for her pregnancy. The boy, also a minor and college student, is reportedly known to the girl.

The bench of Justices GS Kulkarni and FP Pooniwalla heard a petition filed by the minor girl's mother, represented by advocate Nigel Quraishy. The plea highlighted that hospitals refused treatment to the girl due to her reluctance to file a police complaint against the college student, citing their consensual relationship. The plea argued that this denial of medical care violated the girl's fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

Government pleader Purnima Kantharia informed the bench that the girl, residing in Mumbai's western suburb, could seek treatment at the state-run JJ Hospital. However, she would need to submit an emergency police report stating her decision not to pursue a criminal complaint against the boy.

Quraishy stated in court that the girl opted not to terminate the pregnancy and planned to put the baby up for adoption after birth. A shelter home in suburban Andheri had agreed to provide assistance and care for her before and after delivery, as per the plea.

The bench emphasized, "There is no harm in submitting a statement to the police," and directed the girl to submit her statement through her advocate by Friday. It further stated, "The girl shall be entitled to seek medical treatment at the JJ hospital. The dean of the hospital shall take all care to maintain confidentiality of the case and the treatment provided."

Additionally, the bench ordered that the identified shelter home should admit the girl for care and assistance, without requiring a police complaint. It deemed the directive as fair and disposed of the petition.