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SC asks AIIMS to examine poor woman with HIV seeking abortion

IANS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) to set up a board to examine the medical condition of a poor woman suffering from HIV who is seeking medical termination of pregnancy after being sexually assaulted.

"We are concerned with saving the life of a destitute who was sexually assaulted and is suffering from serious medical ailment, not to undergo further suffering," said the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice Mohan M Shatanagoudar.

Asking the medical board to examine the victim by May 6, the bench said that "all efforts have to be made to maintain the dignity of life".

The victim was sexually assaulted when she had gone out from care home Shanti Kutir in Patna where she is sheltered. She is now in the care of NGO Koshish-TIS. The pregnancy surfaced in the course of her medical examination and she has sought its medical termination.

Directing that the report by the medical board be placed before it on May 8, the court recorded a statement by Additional Solicitor Generals P S Narasimha and Tushar Mehta that all arrangements will be made for travel and stay of the victim along with representative of the NGO Koshish to come to Delhi.

In the beginning of March this year, the victim was examined by a medical board on the directions of the Patna High Court and its report had opined that she may need major surgical operation some time.

However, the court was informed by counsel Vrinda Grover that the High Court came to the conclusion that surgical procedure may be hazardous to the victim and there is compelling state interest in keep the child alive.