HC upholds minor's right to privacy, protects confidentiality in pregnancy termination case

06:08 PM May 07, 2024 | PTI |

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Palghar police not to compel a gynaecologist to disclose the identity of a minor girl who sought to terminate her 14-week pregnancy.


A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Manjusha Deshpande also permitted the girl to undergo the termination procedure.

The gynaecologist had filed the petition in the court, seeking direction to the police to not force them to disclose the identity of the 16-year-old girl.

As per the plea, the girl and her mother had approached the petitioner seeking to terminate her pregnancy. The girl claimed that she was in a consensual relationship.

Since she was a minor, the doctor reported her pregnancy to the police under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.


The doctor also informed the police that the girl and her mother did not want to disclose her name or any other identity.

However, the police visited the clinic seeking to know the girl’s identity and informed that the doctor should have sent the girl and her mother to the police to lodge a complaint.

The doctor, in his plea, relied on a Supreme Court order of 2022, which stated that disclosure of a minor girl’s identity was not required.

The petitioner claimed that minors who engage in consensual sex and get pregnant avoid going to a registered doctor out of fear and stigma, and making it mandatory for them to reveal their identity fails to protect and respect their privacy.

The high court has kept the petition for further hearing on June 26.


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