Who: Child born out of rape has right over assaulter’s property
What: Pronounced by the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court
When: 3 November 2015
Allahabad High Court on 3 November 2015 ruled that a child born out of rape will have inheritance rights over the property of the assaulter, the biological father. It said that the child will be treated as an illegitimate child of the rape accused.
The ruling was given by a Lucknow division bench of the High Court comprising Justice Shabihul Hasnain and Justice DK Upadhayaya. The right is subjected to the personal law to which the child belongs.
The court also asked the government to pay 10 lakh rupees to her as maintenance. It also asked the government to conceal her identity and ensure that the girl gets a job once she turns adult.
Key Highlights of the Ruling
• The newly born girl could be given in adoption, but if she is adopted than will not have any right of inheritance in the property of her biological father.
• If the child is not taken in adoption by any one, no directions of the court would be required and she would inherit the property of her biological father by operation of the personal law by which she is governed.
• The court also defined a second category of victim, that is, first is the girl who was raped and the second is the child born from rape.
Second Category of Victim
It termed that the newly born child is a victim in the sense that he/she is forced to lead a life of shame and stigma without his/her fault. As he/she is brought to this world to suffer as the father refuses to give his name to the child, the mother abandons him/her for social reasons.
In this case the child is victim of circumstances and thus it termed injury to reputation as a violation of right to live with dignity.
The child definitely suffers injury of being left in this world to fend for him/her without any support. She/he requires rehabilitation; therefore, the court termed the child born as a second victim.
What was the Case?
The court passed its observation while hearing a rape case of a 14-year-old survivor. The gild got pregnant after being raped and recently delivered a baby girl. The family of the girl moved to high court seeking permission to terminate the pregnancy.
But, a panel of doctors appointed by the court said that abortion at this stage would be dangerous for the survivor’s life, as the family of girl came to know about the pregnancy after expiration of the legal deadline of 21 weeks for safe abortion.