India: Supreme Court & AP State Govt stir action to prevent female foeticide
Tuesday March 5, 2013
SC blames govt for female foeticide
Says it is crucifixion of a future womanDHNS
New Delhi, Mar 4, 2013:The Supreme Court on Monday passed a slew of directions to check female foeticide, noting that the law relating to pre-natal sex determination was misused with “impunity” in the country.
It observed that “female foeticide is the worst type of dehumanisation of the human race.”
A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra also directed strict implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex-Selection) Act, 1994.
“There has been no effective supervision or follow-up action so as to achieve the object and purpose of the Act. Mushrooming of various sonography centres, genetic clinics, genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, ultrasonic clinics, imaging centres in almost all parts of the country calls for more vigil and attention by the authorities under the Act,” the court said.
The court asked the Central and state governments to launch awareness campaigns against female foeticide and take steps for mapping of all registered and unregistered ultra-sonography clinics within three months.
Writing a separate but concurring verdict, Justice Misra said: “When a female foeticide takes place, every woman who mothers such a child must remember that she is killing her own child despite being a mother. That is what abortion would mean in social terms. Abortion of a female child in its conceptual eventuality leads to killing of a woman.”
The purpose of the enactment can only be actualised and its object fruitfully realised when the authorities under the Act carry out their functions with devotion, dedication and commitment and further there is awakened awareness with regard to the role of women in a society, the court added.
“Female foeticide has its roots in the social thinking which is fundamentally based on certain erroneous notions, ego-centric traditions, pervert perception of societal norms, and obsession with ideas which are totally individualistic sans the collective good. All involved in female foeticide deliberately forget to realise that when the foetus of a girl child is destroyed, a woman of future is crucified,” the court said.
Justice Misra referred to different pronouncements by the apex court as well as the sayings of thinkers, poets, philosophers and jurists on women to emphasise that they play a seminal role.
The bench directed various courts in the country to take steps to dispose of all pending cases under the Act within six months.
The court said the Central Supervisory Board and the state and union territories’ boards would meet at least once in six months to supervise and oversee effective the implementation of the Act.
Court’s express orders
-All courts to dispose of cases under prohibition of Sex Selection Act within six months~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-Central Supervisory Board and state and Union territories’ boards to meet at least once in six months -Illegally used ultra-sonography machines to be seized;
manufacturers not to sell machines to unregistered clinics-State govts to file a status report in three months
Tuesday March 5, 2013
AP witnesses alarming dip in child sex ratioSpecial Correspondent
The monitoring of PC&PNDT Act itself is dismal in the State: Health Minister
HYDERABAD: Alarmed over the declining child sex ratio in the State over the last one decade, the government has decided to clamp down on the hospitals, medical and diagnostic centres violating the provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostics Act 1994 and Rules 1996.
The child sex ratio of the age group of 0-6 years children in the State decreased from 961 in 2001 census to 943 in 2011 census for every 1,000 males due to female foeticide. In Warangal, it is worse as the ratio decreased from 955 in 2001 to 912 in 2011 census. West Godavari is the only district which did not show any drop in the ratio during the period which remained 970 in 2001 and 2011.
Health Minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy, who convened a meeting of the State Advisory Committee on implementation of PC&PNDT Act here on Monday, said the implementation of the Act was poor due to various factors. The State reported lowest sex ratio among the Southern States.
The Act provides for imprisonment of three years and a fine of Rs.10,000 for its violators, including individuals who seek such tests. It would be enforced strictly hereafter, he asserted.
Briefing the media persons later, he said that despite rampant violation of the Act, only 73 cases were booked in the last one decade. Of that, 31 cases were disposed of without any action and the remaining are pending. Not even a single conviction was awarded so far, he said.
Sources said that cases were also pending against corporate hospitals including Apollo and Yashoda hospitals for violation of the Act.
The monitoring of the Act itself was dismal in the State. The State Advisory Committee was supposed to meet once in four months, but the last time it met was in 2004. However, from now onwards, the committee would meet once in four months and the district-level committees headed by the Collector, once in two months, Dr. Ravindra Reddy said.
The Family Welfare Commissioner Poonam Malakondaiah was authorised to initiate criminal action against all those hospitals, medical centres, doctors and individuals who violated the Act. “We will not brook any political pressures hereafter. At the district level, DMHO would initiate action,” he added.
Priority would be given to sensitisation of police, medial officers, DMHOs, judicial officers and legal consultants would be appointed for each district. Ms. Malakondaiah said that people could call up toll free number 104 to report sex determination test and their identity would be kept confidential.