Every pregnant woman deserves dignity during motherhood: Delhi HC

Every pregnant woman deserves the dignity guaranteed by the Constitution during motherhood, the Delhi High Court said while granting three-month interim bail to a pregnant woman accused of kidnapping and attempt to murder.

Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta said giving birth to a child in custody would not only be traumatic for the mother but also impact the child adversely.

“Pregnancy of a woman is a special circumstance which needs to be appreciated, as giving birth to a child while in custody, would not only be a trauma to the mother but also create an everlasting adverse impact on the child, whenever questioned about his birth. Every pregnant female deserves the dignity enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India during motherhood,” the court said in its order dated August 18.

“The Court is expected to take note of interest of a child, who is not expected to be exposed to the prisons, until and unless there is a grave danger in releasing the petitioner on bail,” it said.

The court noted that the criminal law provides that the conditions for not releasing a person on bail charged in certain offences shall not apply when the person is under the age of 16, or is a woman, or is sick or infirm.

Further, the jail rules also state that as far as possible, arrangements for temporary release will be made to enable an inmate to deliver in a hospital outside the prison, it added.

The court also recorded that as per the medical report, delivery facilities are not available in the concerned jail and the petitioner was being referred to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for delivery.

“Since the petitioner is a pregnant woman and is expecting the delivery, she deserves to be enlarged on interim bail for a period of three months from the date of release on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs 20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand Only) with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned Trial Court,” the court ordered.

The prosecution opposed the petitioner’s plea for interim bail for six months on the ground that the pregnancy of a female undertrial prisoner itself was not a ground on the basis of which an accused involved in a heinous offence can be enlarged on bail and there was a high security risk to the lives and safety of the victims.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)