The Supreme Court objected to the Gujarat High Court’s handling of a case in which a 26-week expectant rape survivor sought an abortion. [XYZ vs. Gujarat State]
A bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan observed that a substantial amount of time had been lost due to the High Court’s initial decision to adjourn the case.
“Why was the issue postponed until August 23? How can the Court state that the report is due on August 10 and then post it thirteen days later? How much precious time was wasted? … In such cases, there must be a sense of urgency, and a lackadaisical attitude is unacceptable, Justice Nagarathna stated.
This aspect was also reflected in the order issued by the Supreme Court.
“Strangely, the High Court scheduled the case on August 23 (twelve days after receiving the medical report), losing sight of the fact that every day of delay was crucial and of great importance. In this case, the petitioner has requested an abortion, and she was 26 weeks expectant when she contacted the court. Therefore, valuable time was lost between August 8 and the next listing date,” stated the order.
The apex court requested a response from the Gujarat government and ordered a new medical examination of the rape survivor before adjourning the case until Monday.
“Since valuable time has been wasted, a new report may be requested from the Bharauch medical board.” We order the petitioner to appear at the KMCRI hospital to be re-examined, and the most recent status report must be submitted to this court by 6 p.m. on Sunday. This shall be presented to the court on Monday, according to the directive.
Thursday, August 17, the Supreme Court heard an appeal challenging a Gujarat High Court order issued on Thursday.
A rape survivor’s request to terminate her 26-week pregnancy was denied by the High Court.
The appeal was submitted by attorney Vishal Arun Mishra.
Today, attorney Shashank Singh represented the survivor before the highest court.
He pointed out that the challenged order has not yet been uploaded and that the medical board had recommended an abortion.
Swati Ghildiyal represented the State of Gujarat in court.
In recent years, the Supreme Court has conducted more proceedings on Saturdays than usual.
In October, a bench of Justices MR Shah (since retired) and Bela M Trivedi suspended a Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court decision acquitting former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba in an alleged Maoist linkages case.
In June of this year, a bench of Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Pankaj Mithal suspended an Allahabad High Court order directing the astrology department of Lucknow University to examine a woman’s kundali (horoscope or birth chart) to determine whether she is a mangalik.
In a conspiracy case related to the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Supreme Court granted activist Teesta Setalvad interim parole for seven days in July, during its second special Saturday hearing that day.