Kharar: The Punjab and Haryana Health and Police Department officials recently conducted a raid at the SK Hospital after receiving several complaints that people from Haryana were coming to Punjab to get the gender identification tests done.
Further to the raid, three women including a doctor/hospital owner, a conduit and a patient have been arrested in connection with the sex determination racket. The accused were also conducting illegal abortions at the facility according to recent media reports
Dr Vipan Bhandari, Nodal Officer under the PNDT Act, Ambala, informed Tribune that they had been receiving complaints for a long time that people from Haryana were coming to Punjab to get the sex determination tests done. They were also informed about the conduit in the racket who used to arrange for transportation to bring women from various Haryana villages to the hospital.
Acting upon the matter, a three-member team was formed, headed by Dr Bhandari, and comprising Dr Vijay Verma and Dr Brij Bihari. As a part of the sting operation, a pregnant woman was sent to the conduit as a fake customer.
The agent demanded Rs 18,000 from the woman. The PNDT sleuths along with Haryana Health Department provided the decoy patient with noted currency and the fake customer was then sent to the conduit with Rs 18,000 in cash. The customer was taken by the agent to SK hospital in Kharar where her ultrasound test was done by Dr Sarabjit.
Tribune reports that when the procedure was over, the team held the agent and recovered Rs 6,000 from her, comprising the same currency notes, which were given to the customer by the team. The team also searched for the marked notes with the doctor, and upon recovering one marked note of Rs 500, arrested her, reports HT
Meanwhile, at reaching the hospital, the team also discovered a four-month-old foetus, which was lying near the portable ultrasound machine. Upon investigation, they found that the foetus belonged to a patient Paramjit Kaur, a mother of three daughters, who had just recently aborted her foetus under the supervision of the doctor
The police has arrested the trio identified as Dr Sarabjeet Kaur(owner of the hospital), Balbir Kaur (the conduit) and Paramjit Kaur (the patient) under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, and Sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The trio was presented before the court soon after, after which they were remanded in two-day police custody. Police sought their remand stating that they wanted to investigate where Sarabjit sourced the machines from, and how many abortions and sex determination tests were conducted at the hospital.
HT reports that this is not the first encounter of the hospital with these serious charges. In 2016, the hospital was sealed and Dr Sarabjit was arrested for conducting illegal sex determination tests. Later the doctor was released on bail. Moreover, in 2017, the health authorities again raided the hospital and found the portable machine hidden in the elevator, and a police complaint was filed. Following this, Sarabjit had filed a case against the Kharar health authorities.