AHMEDABAD: A 28-year-old rape survivor who wanted to get away with her 28-week pregnancy after being allegedly gang-raped has been asked by the Gujarat Court to ‘bravely go ahead and deliver the child’. The woman in her request had said that she was afraid that her husband and his family would never be able to accept the child.

While rejecting the petition filed by the rape survivor, the Gujarat High Court on Thursday asked the state administration to look after her and ensure that the baby does not go abandoned. 

Hailing from Saurashtra, the woman had registered an FIR on March 16 alleging that she was kidnapped in July last year from outside her home and gang-raped by seven men who took her to different places for approximately 10 months. 

She was 24 weeks pregnant when she went to the police. A district court had refused her plea for abortion explaining that ‘it was too late’ and is likely to endanger her life. The High Court then endorsed the ruling. 

“I am conscious of the fact that to carry a child in the womb after an act of rape is not only extremely traumatic for her but also humiliating, frightening and psychologically devastating. In Indian society, she becomes an object of scorn and ostracisation,” said Gujarat high court judge JB Pardiwala.

“The applicant will have to bravely go ahead with the pregnancy and when time comes, she should deliver the child. I am conscious of the fact that it is easy for a judge to say so in his judgment because it is ultimately the applicant who will have to face hard days ahead. Yet, howsoever harsh one may find the law, it remains the law and one has to respect it. She must understand that termination at this stage will put her own life in peril,” Pardiwala added.

Following the judgment, the court then directed the state government to assist the woman with all necessary medical facilities and ordered police protection for her and her family. 

Top district officials have been asked to keep a close watch on the family of the victim including her husband.  The lawyer of the petitioner then said that they will now take a call if they need to appeal the High Court’s verdict.

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