Pregnancy can’t be Terminated due to Matrimonial Discord with Husband


July 16, 2018

Case name: Neelam Choudhary v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.


In the case, the Petition who was 23 weeks pregnant contended that she did not intend to continue with the pregnancy primarily due to health problem of epilepsy and also pursue her studies.

The Petitioner in the case has also cited matrimonial discord as a reason for termination of pregnancy. Accordingly, the Petition in the case prayed that the respondent be directed to constitute a Medical Board so as to ensure   termination   of pregnancy.

The Two-Judge Bench of the High of Bombay in view of the facts and material available on record dismissed the Petitioner’s plea and made the following observations in the case:

  • That none of the medical papers which are placed on record certifies that there is imminent danger to the life of the Petitioner not the condition of the fetus is incompatible with the extra uterine life.
  • That the petitioner is seeking termination of pregnancy based on the cause viz. her matrimonial discord with her husband and her intention to initiate divorce proceedings and to pursue her career and improve her education qualification.
  • The Bombay High Court noted that in the light of the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the cause cited by the Petitioner is not at all recognized to form basis for accepting the Petitioner’s prayer to terminate the pregnancy.
  • The Court further opined that there was no material whatsoever brought on record to substantiate the Petitioner’s claim.
  • Bombay High Court while arriving at its decision also made reference to Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Suchita   Srivastava   V/s. Chandigarh Administration[1], wherein the Apex Court has held that the provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act can be viewed as putting reasonable restrictions on exercise of reproduction choice of women.
  • The Bombay High Court observed that in the wake of the law laid down, the ground which is sought to be espoused by the Petitioner seeking termination of pregnancy is no more germane to requirement under Section 3 of the Act. Section 3 enumerates the circumstances under which pregnancies may be terminated by registered medical practitioners.

The entire case can be accessed here.

[1] [2009 (9) SCC 1