The baby boy who was prematurely delivered following the Supreme Court’s order to terminate the pregnancy of a 13-year-old rape victim, succumbed on Sunday at the State-run JJ Hospital. The baby was delivered on September 8 at 32 weeks and weighed 1.8 kg. While he was stable for a few hours after being shifted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), he developed breathing difficulties on Saturday, after which he was placed on ventilator support. Given the premature birth, his lungs, like other organs, had not fully developed. “The baby passed away at 10 a.m. on Sunday,” confirmed a doctor from the hospital. Medical experts said that premature babies can develop complications but with good NICU care, babies as small as 700 grams in weight have survived. Exceptional casesWhile the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, allows termination only up to 20 weeks, Section 5 of the Act provides an exception to the doctor in good faith, only if immediate termination is the only way to save the mother’s life. Kandivali-based gynaecologist Dr. Kartik Bhagat, who first detected the girl’s pregnancy, said that this is “not as easy as it sounds”. “Legally, termination of pregnancies is allowed only up to 20 weeks. If I had to apply the Section 5 of MTP Act in this case, the mother’s life was not in immediate danger for me to carry out a termination,” said Dr. Bhagat, who immediately referred the case to another gynaecologist, Dr. Nikhil Datar, for the legal procedures. By the time all the necessary procedures, including the filing of the FIR, medical examination, the submission of a petition in the Supreme Court and that of a medical report by team of doctors was completed, the girl was in the 31st week of her pregnancy. On September 6, the SC allowed the termination of the pregnancy, which was to be carried out two days later. But on September 8, the doctors delivered a baby boy.
Efforts to trace, deport illegal foreigners in Assam have been poor, unsatisfactory: State Chief Secretary tells SC
Assam Chief Secretary Alok Kumar admitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the “performance” of the State government and its task force to trace illegal foreigners and deport them had been “poor” and “not satisfactory” over the past five years.“Put that on record,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, leading a three-judge Bench, told Mr. Kumar.Mr. Kumar’s admission was in response to Chief Justice Gogoi’s queries about how the State had managed to deport only four out of 46,000 illegal foreigners identified in Assam between 2015 and 2018.“Out of 46,000, you could only find 2,000; of this, you could deport only four?” Justice Gogoi asked Mr. Kumar.When Mr. Kumar tried to explain, Justice Gogoi interjected and asked, “Is your government being run in accordance with the Constitution?”“Performance [to trace illegal foreigners in the State] in the last five years has been poor,” Mr. Kumar acknowledged.“Put that on record,” the Chief Justice said.“The performance of the task force to identify them is also not satisfactory,” Mr. Kumar added.“Put that also on record,” Justice Gogoi reacted.The CJI then referred to how 38 lakh of the 40 lakh people excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam have filed citizenship claims.“If they fail in their claims, they will immediately file complaints with the Foreigners Tribunals in Assam. Do you know how many tribunals would be required to deal with such a large number of complaints?” Justice Gogoi asked.Observing that a 1,000 more tribunals would be required to deal with the tide, Mr. Kumar said the State had already proposed a ₹900-crore budget for setting up these tribunals.The Chief Justice, however, said he was sceptical about how the State would find another 1,000 judges, that too, for a tenure appointment of just three years.“Which good advocate would leave his practice and come for a three-year term as a tribunal judge?” Justice Gogoi wondered.The court further directed the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit before April 25 suggesting measures for release of detenuees languishing in Assam’s detention centres for years.“They cannot be released like how domestic criminals are released,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted.“These (detention centres) are not places anyone would like to be. There are about 915 detainees, how long will they continue to be in custody?” CJI asked.The court however did not find it necessary to send an advocate as amicus curiae to check on the living conditions of the detainees. “We know their living conditions are bad,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.In the previous hearing, Mr. Mehta had briefed the court that the “push-back” policy was dropped in 2013 and nowadays diplomatic channels were employed to determine the nationality of an illegal foreigner and to deport the person. A Ministry of Home Affairs affidavit had said how the Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh visited detention centres to talk to detainees. If their information is proved correct, they are expeditiously issued travel documents.The court is hearing a petition filed by activist Harsh Mander about the dismal living conditions within the four walls of the detention centres in the State. The court noticed that many detainees continue to be lodged inside these centres even after the expiry of their term of imprisonment for illegally entering the country.
The BCCI has formed a special committee to look into India’s debacle on the England tour, the board announced on Monday.N. Srinivasan, who took over as the new president of BCCI, said the Indian team will bounce back from its defeat in England. “We have had just one bad series,” he said.India’s first World Cup winning team member Mohinder Amarnath, who once called the selection committee a bunch of jokers, and former Indian captain Anil Kumble will head the panel. Earlier, sources told Headlines Today that Amarnath might replace Yashpal Sharma as the representative from the north zone in the BCCI selection committee.Srinivasan also clarified that the Indian team had not received any specific invitation in London for the ICC Awards event that had created quite a row after M.S. Dhoni’s men skipped the ceremony.The BCCI chief also said former captain Sourav Ganguly will replace Sunil Gavaskar as the technically committee head. “We are yet to get his (Sourav’s) consent. I hope he agrees,” Srinivasan said.