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During the hearing when senior advocate Colin Gonsalves,

Gonsalves said that another bench of the apex court is hearing a separate matter in which validity of the provision of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act is under challenge.

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During the hearing when senior advocate Colin Gonsalves,
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who was representing the woman, insisted that the lady should be allowed to terminate the foetus, the bench said, "everybody knows that children with down syndrome are undoubtedly less intelligent, but they are fine people."

When the counsel referred to the report and quoted the doctors as having said that there was a possibility of severe mental retardation, the bench observed, "undoubtely this syndrome affects the mind, but is the degree of retardation such (that) it warrants termination of life of foetus".

Gonsalves said that another bench of the apex court is hearing a separate matter in which validity of the provision of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act is under challenge.

The bench, which declined the plea of woman to undergo medical termination of pregnancy, tagged her plea with the matter pending before another bench.

When the counsel referred to the report of the medical board, the bench said, "With this report, we don't think we are going to allow the termination of pregancy".

"We have a life in our hands. If you want us to consider the constitutional challenge to the Act, we will consider it," the bench said, adding "we will tag your plea with the other matter".

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, opposed the plea and said termination of pregnancy should not be allowed in view of medical board's report.

At the fag end of hearing, Gonsalves said the trauma of the mother to nurture a child suffering from down syndrome should also be considered.

To this, the bench said, "It is a sad thing to expect such a child."

The woman had said in her plea that this disorder could cause physical and mental retardation and the child would not be able to lead a normal and healthy life.

In a separate case, the apex court had on February 7 allowed a 22-year-old woman to terminate her 24-week pregnancy on the ground that it would endanger her life.

In another case, the apex court in January had allowed a Mumbai-based woman, who was in her 24th week of pregnancy, to terminate her pregnancy while taking into consideration the report of a hospital which had suggested that the foetus would not be able to survive without the skull.

 

(This article has not been edited by DNA's editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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