Taking a decision is a difficult task. But, the job of the courts is to decide. The judge gives the verdict using his discretion after hearing under a certain procedure. But, sometimes it gets complicated. One such case recently reached the Supreme Court. In this case, the right to personal liberty was on one scale, and the right to life was on the other. And the Supreme Court has given its decision terming the right to life as important. This case was of a pregnant woman who wanted permission to abort the 26-week-old fetus growing in her stomach. Under the current laws in India, abortion can be allowed only up to 24 years of pregnancy.
But, in this case, the woman had appealed to the court for relief on humanitarian grounds. He said that apart from depression, he had other health problems. This woman, already the mother of two children, said that she was physically, mentally and financially not in a position to take care of the third child. She had sought permission for abortion citing the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. Her lawyer’s argument was that the right to freedom to decide about one’s life is greater than the right to abortion. The Supreme Court had given permission to the woman to have an abortion. But, after an AIIMS doctor sent an email indicating the possibility of fetal survival, the government appealed to reverse the order.
Then the bench of two judges heard again. But both the judges had different opinions, after which the matter went to the Chief Justice. The bench led by the Chief Justice has finally ruled that abortion cannot be allowed as the pregnancy has crossed the limit of 24 weeks. It was not easy for the court to give its verdict in this case, because the woman’s complaint also seems equally human. But, the court has given its decision giving preference to the opinion of doctors, the existing law and the right to life of the unborn child. The court has tried to send a message through its decision that even though the decision may seem harsh, no relaxation can be given without a definite basis in the law.