New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard a recall application by the Centre against the top court’s order allowing the medical termination of a 26-week pregnancy of a married woman.
The bench disagreed and referred the case to a larger bench.
While Justice Hima Kohli was not inclined to permit the termination of pregnancy, Justice BV Nagarathna disagreed.
Justice Nagarathna while disagreeing with her fellow judge said that this is not a question where the viability of the foetus has to be considered, but the interest and wishes of the petitioner who has reiterated her mental condition and ailments.
The woman appeared virtually before the court and informed the court she wanted to abort.
“The woman has submitted an affidavit stating she does not want the baby. One of us is of the opinion that the pregnancy should not be terminated, whereas the other judge on the bench disagrees. List before CJI for a larger bench,” the court said.
Justice Nagarathna dictating her part of the order said that she respectfully disagrees with the fellow judge.
“The mentioning was done without pleadings being filed. The petitioner has started all throughout that she does not wish to carry out her pregnancy. This is not a question where the viability of the foetus has to be considered, but the interest and wishes of the petitioner who has reiterated her mental condition and ailments,” she asserted.
While asserting the October 9 order does not require recall, Justice Nagarathna said that the petitioner’s decision must be respected.
“I had made a conscious decision to terminate medical pregnancy and want to terminate the pregnancy,” the petitioner told the court.
Earlier in the day, while presiding over the hearing, Justice Nagarathna slammed the mentioning process.
Nagarathna asked the ASG appearing for the Centre on the absence of pleadings, how can he seek a 3-judge intra-court appeal. “Without filing a recall application you moved the honourable CJ? I certainly do not support this. Every bench here is the Supreme Court,” she asserted.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court placed on hold its own order allowing the termination of a 26-week pregnancy of a married woman after the government submitted a medical report indicating the foetus is “viable”, i.e., it shows signs of life and has a strong possibility of survival.
The woman in question had pleaded before the court that she already has two children and she is mentally and physically not fit to take care of another child. The petitioner further said that she is suffering from depression and wants to terminate her pregnancy.