The Government of India has enacted the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, for prohibition of sex selection before or after conception and for prevention of misuse of pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex determination. The responsibility of implementation of the Act lies with State/ UT Governments, including taking action against medical Professionals for the offences of sex selection /sex determination.
The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Smt Anupriya Patel recently apprised the Lok Sabha about the various developments that had taken place to prevent pre-natal sex determination in the country.
As per the updates provided the by hon’ble minister, some salient figures include
- Statistics revealed that the state of Maharashtra topped in the number of inspections conducted by the authorities with 1,45,918 facilities inspected till now. This was followed by Punjab with 36,549 facilities inspected and then Haryana 24,626 inspections had taken place
- Rajasthan, probably saw the highest impact in terms of implementation, with 634 court cases reported under the act. A total of 137 convictions have taken place till now with 21 licences being suspended on account of pre natal sex determination in the state.
- Maharshtra stood second with a total of 567 court cases, 84 convictions and 68 suspensions.
- Haryana state currently has 182 ongoing cases under the act, with 66 convictions having taken place till now. A total of 14 medical licenses have been suspended for the violations of the said act.
As per information received from States/UTs, the State/UT-wise details of inspection conducted under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 is given below:
|State wise number of premises Inspected under PC&PNDT Act (Up to September, 2016)|
|S. No.||State/UT||No. of Premises Inspected|
|10||Jammu & Kashmir||1266|
|30||A & N. Island||4|
|32||D. & N. Haveli||15|
|33||Daman & Diu||9|
As per the quarterly progress report (QPR) received from States/ UTs, a total of 2352 court cases have been filed by the District Appropriate Authorities for violating the provisions of the PC&PNDT Act. 386 convictions have been secured under PC&PNDT Act, the medical licenses of 108 doctors have been suspended by the various State Medical Councils, following convictions. State wise details are given below:
Financial support to the States and UTs for Orientation & Sensitisation Workshop and Information, Education & Communication campaigns for the implementation of the PC & PNDT Act under the National Health Mission (NHM).
Advertisements and Impact on search engines
The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 16.11.2016 in WP 341 of 2008 has directed the Union of India to constitute a Nodal Agency to monitor and trigger search engines to crack down on online pre-natal sex determination advertisements.
As per the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 16.11.2016 in WP 341 of 2008, anybody who comes across anything in nature of the advertisement which has the impact of identifying the sex of foetus shall be brought to the notice of the Nodal Agency and same shall be intimated to the concerned search engines by the Nodal Agency which shall be removed/ deleted within 36 hours and compliance shall be intimated to the Nodal Agency.
The Union Government is required to comply with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 16.11.2016 in WP 341 of 2008.