The Supreme Court today declined to amend an Act which prohibits termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks saying that the issue fell within the legislative realm.
The apex court, however, sought response from the government on framing of guidelines for for setting up a permanent mechanism for expedient termination of pregnancies beyond 20 weeks in the exceptional cases.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by Karnataka-based Anusha Ravindra seeking amendment of the 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act for abortion of foetus older than 20 weeks involving rape survivors and women with abnormal foetus.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued notices to the Ministries of Health, Women and Child Development and Medical Council Of India.
"On a perusal of the reliefs sought, we find that as far as the prayer (c) is concerned, that is in legislative realm, hence we are not inclined to address the said prayer.
"As far as the prayers (a) and (b) are concerned, we are of the prima facie view that they have become necessary to be addressed. Issue notice, fixing a returnable date within four weeks," the bench said.
The plea, filed through advocate Abhinav Ramkrishna, also sought constitution of a committee for setting up a permanent mechanism for expedient termination of pregnancies beyond 20 weeks in the exceptional cases involving rape survivors and women and abnormal foetus under safe medical facilities with adequate inputs from an association of professionals and experts.