A panel of doctors appointed by a district court in Haryana have permitted a 10-year-old, whose stepfather had raped her, to have an abortion. Dr Ashok Chauhan, on the panel from the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, told the BBC the termination would be carried out “anytime now”.

“The court had asked the medical board to take a call and doctors have decided to go ahead with the abortion,” Garima Devi, the police investigation officer assigned to the case, told AFP.

The girl’s mother had said that the victim’s stepfather had repeatedly raped her daughter, and sought permission for an abortion for the critically ill minor. The girl is five months pregnant, and Indian law allows abortion only within 20 weeks of conception.

The woman also said that she already has four children and cannot afford to bring up another child, the Rohtak Police told PTI.

Doctors had discovered that the girl was pregnant after her mother took her to hospital on May 12. The woman is a labourer from Bihar and the accused is her husband and cousin. The girl said her stepfather had warned her not to tell anyone he was raping her. He was later arrested.