Mentally-challenged rape victim delivers baby

December 3rd, 2009 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Dec 3 (IANS) A 19-year-old mentally-challenged girl, who was raped at a government-run home for destitutes earlier this year, Thursday gave birth to a baby girl here, a health official said.
“Both mother and her child are in good health and there are no signs of complications so far. Both of them are responding well to medical treatment,” Anju Hurria, head of gynaecology department at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), told IANS.

“At this stage we cannot comment anything on the baby’s mental status. It would be ascertained only after a few weeks when the child would start responding,” Hurria said.

The doctor said the mother is aware of the fact she gave birth to child. “She kept saying, ‘I have given birth to a child’,” Hurria said.

The baby was delivered by the mentally challenged 19-year-old who had been raped by the staff of Nari Niketan (shelter for destitute women) in Sector 26 here.

Police had arrested the main accused, Bhupinder Singh, a staffer at the home, and three others for their involvement in the rape.

Police took the blood samples of the newborn to match with the accused. A DNA match would be done with the samples of the accused.

The unborn child’s destiny swung in the courts earlier this year after the Punjab and Haryana High Court first allowed medical termination of the pregnancy.

The Supreme Court in July overruled the high court’s orders and allowed the victim to carry on with the pregnancy following expert advice that the mother could take care of the child.

The apex court, while giving its verdict, put emphasis on the desire expressed by the victim to deliver the child.

The court asked the Delhi-based National Trust, for the welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities, to look after the victim and her child.

Following the continuation of the victim’s pregnancy, a fresh controversy erupted between the Chandigarh administration here and the trust over the custody of the victim.

Administration officials accused the trust of not standing by its commitment to the Supreme Court and refusing to take responsibility of the victim and her unborn child.

The trust had told the court that it will take care of the victim and her child if the pregnancy was allowed to be continued.

The trust officials later said: “We never promised anybody to take the victim with us to New Delhi. We had offered an assistance package (Rs.800,000) and we are ready to give it.”

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