During Monday's hearing, the counsel for the girl argued that she had already been examined by a paediatric neurologist who opined that the foetus had a neurological problem that was likely to aggravate and require an expensive post-natal neurosurgical procedure. The long-awaited Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) (Amendment) Bill, which contemplates the extension of the legal limit for abortion from the present 20 weeks to 24, is pending since June 2014.
Doctors at Chandigarh's Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research will determine how much danger the girl's life will be in if she has an abortion, compared to if she carries the baby to term.
The Bench said the medical board would have to ascertain that if allowed to abort the foetus, what could be the possible risk to the minor's life.
A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar said the woman should be examined within two days by a medical board, consisting of the heads of the departments of gynaecology, neurology and cardiology of the Mumbai-based JJ Hospital.
According to the petitioner the doctors treating the girl are of the view that her pelvic bones are not fully developed due to her tender age and, therefore, tolerating a full-term pregnancy at this tender age is very risky.
The incident took place in Punjab where a 10-year-old girl was raped which resulted in her pregnancy.
The court advised the legal officer to ensure that the girl and one of her parents are provided proper facilities at the hospital during examination. On July 18, a local court refused permission for an abortion on the basis of a GMCH report, which warned that there could be "high chances of physical trauma", considering the girl's age and health.
The girl's pregnancy was only discovered recently after her parents took her to hospital when she complained of stomach pain. "The victim has undergone a heart surgery and has blood deficiency which compounds the risk involved", he said. They are also planning to arrange a tutor for the child at home, so she keeps in touch with studies - her father, a watchman, is studying for an MBA degree through correspondence.
The petition also urged the Supreme Court to frame guidelines for setting up a permanent mechanism and for constituting permanent medical boards at each district for expedient termination of pregnancies beyond 20 weeks in exceptional cases particularly involving child rape survivors under the best possible medical facilities.
The BBC reported that the girl is from an extremely poor family.