Doctors in Bhopal staged a protest on Wednesday against some provisions in the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act that recommends harsh punishment even for minor "clerical" mistakes.
Addressing a press conference here, Indian Medical Association’s (IMA’s) Bhopal branch leaders Dr Randhir Singh, Dr Sanjay Gupta, Dr DK Verma, Dr Vinod Jain and Dr Meeta Aggarwal said the doctors were feeling harassed because of the authorities' high-handedness in the implementation of the provisions in the PCPPNDT Act.
They said the provision in the ACT required them to submit details of each ultrasound conducted on a pregnant lady.
"Instead of focusing on those who are indulging in infanticide, the government is after the doctors running the sonography centres," the protestors said.
"Over the last two years, cases have been lodged against many doctors and their sonography machines sealed for mere clerical mistakes in the filling of the form. Even in Madhya Pradesh, many doctors are on the receiving end because of such provisions in the Act," they said.
The doctors said that a significant number of sonography centres in Bhopal remained shut on Wednesday to protest against the provision, which they want amended at the earliest. The doctors were wearing black ribbons.
"We are not saying that we won’t fill the forms. But, there should not be any severe punishment for just clerical errors. We want the government to monitor girl child till the age of five and if any girl dies, there should be investigation in the case," they said.