The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up the administration of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) for delaying examination of a woman seeking permission for termination of a 33-week-old foetus suffering from a cerebral anomaly.
On Friday the high court directed the medical board of LNJP to examine Monday a woman seeking termination of pregnancy. The hospital was directed to file a report by Monday. Justice Prathiba M. Singh asked the counsel for the hospital, “She has been there since 9 am. It is 10:30 am. Who is the doctor concerned who made her wait.”
The counsel for LNJP submitted that in view of advanced pregnancy and complications therein the medical board also wanted a neurologist there in the team doing the review.
An MRI of the foetus is to be done Monday.
The court asked, “Why was this not done this morning?”
The LNJP counsel said the delay was due to administrative reasons and election duty.
The court called the reason suspicious and said ” I want it today by 1 PM. And if doctors don’t do it, they should be before the court.
The matter was to be heard at 2.30 PM Monday again.
The court on Friday said in view of the gestational age of the foetus and abnormality it has asked the medical board at LNJP to conduct an examination and file a report.
The bench also noted the submission made by advocate Aneesh Madhukar’s counsel for the petitioner that she has approached the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital (GTB). However, the examination could not be conducted as a medical board was not constituted there.
The counsel for Delhi Government submitted that the petitioner might be referred to AIIMS or LNJP where there are already medical boards.
After noting the submissions the bench directed LNJP to conduct an examination and file a report.
The petitioner is a 26-year-old married woman. The petitioner submitted that she had undergone periodic ultrasounds and no abnormality was reported.
It was for the first time detected on November 11. The abnormality in the foetus’ brain was found. It was also confirmed by another ultrasound on November 14.
When she approached the GTB hospital, her request for the termination of her pregnancy was subject to judicial intervention since the current gestational age of the foetus was beyond the permissible limits i.e. 24 weeks as per the Amended Act effective from 24.09.2021.
However, it was submitted that the limitation as provided under the said Act i.e. 20/24 weeks is not applicable to the case of the Petitioner in this case as attributed by Section 3(2B), MTP Act, 1971 since the foetus borne by the Petitioner carries substantial cerebral abnormalities, as a result of which grave mental injury is being caused to the Petitioner herein.