Punjab & Haryana High Court grants anticipatory bail to Ayurveda doctor accused in illegal pregnancy termination case

The Court took note of the petitioner’s submission that if this is a case of premature delivery and not pregnancy termination, she may get the benefit of a circular permitting Ayurvedic doctors to perform deliveries.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently granted interim anticipatory bail to an Ayurveda gynaecologist accused of performing an unauthorized pregnancy termination. [Dr. Mehak v State]

While granting such interim relief, the Court also took note of the submission made on behalf of the Ayurvedic practitioner (petitioner) that it is debatable whether the present case was one of pregnancy termination or premature delivery.

If it is found to be a case of pre-mature delivery, the petitioner would be entitled to get the benefit of a 2017 communication issued by the government of India permitting certain practitioners of Indian medicine to perform such deliveries, her counsel contended.

The communication referred to, as reproduced the Court’s order, stated:

“In view of the legal provisions narrated above, the syllabus and curriculum of Ayurveda at UG and PG level as well as the office orders issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare MH division it is evident that the doctors possessing qualification included in 2nd 3rd and 4th schedule of the IMCC Act, 1970 are entitled to perform deliveries of pregnant women.”

Justice Pankaj Jain proceeded to grant the petitioner anticipatory bail, while directing her to cooperate with the probe.

The case involves allegations of criminal conspiracy and offences under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act).

As per the authorities, confidential information was received about an illegal abortion being performed by a doctor at a hospital in Kaithal. A team led by a civil surgeon was formed to conduct an inspection.

During the hospital raid, it was allegedly discovered that an abortion was sought due to water in the foetus’ head (a condition that could affect the development of the foetus).

The prosecution claimed that the Ayurveda doctor had advised the couple to terminate the pregnancy due to it being deemed a ‘high-risk pregnancy.’

A first information report (FIR) was registered in the matter last month.

Before the Court, the Ayurvedic doctor’s counsel submitted that she was a qualified Ayurveda Dhanwantri Prasooti Tantra and Streeroga degree holder, who was working as a gynaecologist in a nursing home.

It was further submitted that the whole procedure conducted by her has been documented and is in possession of the investigating agency.

Therefore, there need not be any apprehension that the petitioner would tamper with the same, the counsel submitted.


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