India’s abortion laws far more advanced than developed countries

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court Do you have a question? Email us at citizen.dtnext@dt.co.in
Justice K Chandru
Justice K Chandru

Only recently, a Delhi High Court order on abortion rights was set aside by the Supreme Court saying the petitioner should not be denied the benefit on the ground that she is an unmarried woman. Though I am perplexed at different courts coming up with divergent rules on such a sensitive issue, what I would request you to clarify are: Since abortion rights are granted mostly based on the age of the foetus, will the final orders be based on the age of the foetus when the case was first filed in a lower court? If not, doesn’t the victim deserve state compensation for the time lapsed due to a probably erroneous decision which has delayed the process and put her life to risk?

— Janani, T Nagar

India has far more advanced laws on the right to abortion, unlike many advanced countries. You must have learnt that the US Supreme Court, which had given many progressive decisions, recently overturned a 50-year-old decision on abortion delivered by it. Here, there may be differences on certain nuances, but not on the fundamentals. Ultimately, the decisions differed based on health and safety rather than on the right of the woman to get aborted.

Power tariff hike has to be seen through prism of social justice

It was to stop electricity theft and meter tampering that Tangedco introduced digital meters. The state government stands to earn more revenue through this act. The smart meters even eliminated human intervention, which cuts down on Tangedco staff workload. However, the government now wants to collect rent on digital meters and smart meters from the common man. Not as a one-time payment, but month after month. Is this justified? Which doors can ordinary people knock on to save themselves from these unjustified, shocking, unilateral decisions? — Shastri Ramachandran, Tenkasi

Right to electricity supply can be read into the fundamental right guaranteeing liberty but not the tariff fixed. You know Tamil Nadu is supplying free electricity to farmers and 100 units free supply to all consumers. Therefore, there is a need to recover the income in several other ways. It is not a question of ethics or impropriety but one of the business requirements. You must have also read about the vast accumulated loss the Tangedco is having.

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