Health Ministry proposes Amendments to PC-PNDT Act
Send Your Suggestions for amendments to PC-PNDT Act through a email on firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 21st March, 2016.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recently come out with some proposed amendments to the PC-PNDT Act. These proposed amendments are the result of the recommendations of the expert committee containing members of the government as well associations including IMA, FOGSI as well as IRIA.
The government is also inviting suggestions/views form the stakeholders and general public. You can sent the same through emailon email@example.com on or before 21st March, 2016.
The major changes as proposed to the act can be summarised (rewritten) as follows:
- Earlier, the Act laid certain conditions as well as prohibitions on the SALE of the ultrasound machines. Now the conditions as well as prohibitions shall extend to any kind of TRANSFER, which may/may not be constituted as sale.
- Penalties are proposed to be higher with the amendments. It is proposed to divide violations under the act into those which directly leads to ( as assists in ) Sex Determination to address them separately from other contraventions of the act.
- The fine for indulging/assisting/aiding in Sex Determination are proposed to be increased. The fines which were earlier defined as upto Rs 10,000 have been increased to " upto fifty thousand", whereas conviction which was " may extend to three years" is proposed to be " minimum three years". Similarly repeat offenders who faced maximum imprisonment of 5 years are proposed to be convicted with imprisonment " which shall not be less than five years and with a fine which may extend to Rs 1 Lakhs."
- Not abiding by the certain prescribed norms will lead to a fine of minimum Rs 1000 and incase of continuing contravention, additional fine will be of Rs 500 per day. These prescribed norms include: (a) Wearing an apron with Proper Name place while performing diagnostic procedure (b) Putting up-sign board disclaiming Sex Selection at a prominent place in the clinic (c) Copy of the PNDT Act always present in the Clinic
- Earlier, Penalty for Contraventions of the Act provisions for which no specific punishment was provided in the Act, could have led to an imprisonment upto three months, or a fine of upto Rs 1000 or both. It is now proposed that or such Contraventions, there may just be a fine which may extend to Rs 10,000 and for continuous contravention, an additional fine which may extend to Rs 1000 everyday. It may also lead to confiscation of sonography machines and other equipments in some cases
- Offences by Companies- To increase the accountability of manufactures, it is proposed to be bring Manufacturing companies as separate entities under the act. It is further proposed that for offences by the company, it should be liable to a punishment of not less than 3 years and a fine not less than 25 lakhs. Further, if any company that refuses or fails to provide sails details of USG machines and other imaging equipments to centre Government and the respective state or District Appropriate Authority, on quarterly basis, or else as desired, will be punishable with a fine of not less than Rs 5 lakhs and in the case of continuous contravention with an additional fine which may extend to Rs 5000 everyday during which such contravention continues
- The definition of a Medical Geneticist is proposed to be altered to define a medical geneticist as a person a person who has DM/ MD in medical Genetics recognized by MCI or has worked/ done research for not less than five years in a recognized university or institute or has obtained a doctorate degree in the area of clinical or medical or human genetics after obtained:
(i)Medical qualifications recognized under the Indian Medical Council Act,1956 (102 of 1956); or(ii)A recognized post graduate degree in subjects like Zoology/ Molecular Biology/ Human Genetics/ Bio-chemistry/ Bio-technology, Biomedical sciences and Biosciences /Life sciences
You can get the full details of the amendments by clicking on the following link
PNDT Proposed amendments