The Supreme Court on Thursday permitted the adoption of the child of a 21-year-old girl who had earlier sought abortion of 29-week pregnancy but later agreed to deliver the child, and also directed AIIMS to ensure that all necessary facilities are made available so that the delivery can take place in a safe environment.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud with justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala invoked the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution taking regard to the extraordinary situation as a young woman in distress moved the top court at a late stage of her pregnancy.
"We are adopting the present course of action consistent with the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution having regard to the extraordinary situation which has emerged before the Court involving a young woman in distress, who moved this Court at a late stage of her pregnancy," the bench said.
The court said that the delivery of the child by the petitioner shall take place at AIIMS.
The court requested the Director of AIIMS to ensure that all necessary facilities are made available without the payment of fees, charges or expenses of any nature so that the delivery can take place in a safe environment at AIIMS.
"The privacy of the petitioner shall be maintained and all steps shall be taken to ensure that the identity of the petitioner is not divulged in the course of the hospitalization at AIIMS," the court clarified.
The court also granted permission for adoption and said, "Permission is granted for the adoption of the child by the prospective parents whose details have been set out in the CARA registration form. CARA shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the implementation of this order."
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati have apprised the Court that an effort has been made to facilitate the process of adoption of the child after delivery, by prospective parents who are registered with the Child Adoption Resource Authority under the auspices of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The Court was also apprised of the fact that two prospective parents who have been registered with a parent registration number under CARA are ready and willing to adopt the child.
"We are adopting the present course of action consistent with the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution having regard to the extraordinary situation which has emerged before the Court involving a young woman in distress, who moved this Court at a late stage of her pregnancy," the court said.
The adoption situation was taken care of after the court noted that the petitioner does not wish to retain the child with her after delivery and would not be in a position to care for the child.
"In the circumstances, having regard to the late stage of the pregnancy, it has been considered in the best interest of the mother and the fetus that the child, upon delivery, may be given in adoption," the court said.
The petitioner is reported to have lost her father during the Covid-19 pandemic and has a mother, who is unwell. The petitioner also has a married sister who is about ten years older than her. ASG Aishwarya Bhati has informed the Court that she has also interacted with the sister of the petitioner to explore whether she would be willing to take the child in adoption, however, the sister expressed her inability to do so for a variety of reasons.
The Supreme Court earlier asked the director of AIIMS, Delhi, to constitute a team of doctors on Friday to examine whether the termination of 29 weeks pregnancy of an unmarried B. Tech student can be conducted safely.
It has also asked the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) to assist the court in the case.
The lawyer appearing for the girl told the bench that she is living in a hostel in Ghaziabad. He said the girl wants to terminate an unwanted pregnancy which is approximately 29 weeks. Advocates Amit Mishra and Rahul Sharma were the counsel who appeared on behalf of the petitioner. (ANI)