A team of the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC), constituted under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) Act, 1994, on Tuesday morning swooped down on Dr Anup Gupta’s Delhi IVF Centre at Bengali Market and sealed the place.
In a raid that lasted for eight hours, the team confiscated five ultrasound diagnostic machines and issued a show-cause notice to the IVF centre.The team allegedly found non-compliance of the Act and irregularities in reporting of patient details who had undergone tests at the centre. The centre specialises in IVF, surrogacy, egg donation, sperm banking, among other facilities.
“The Act demands very strict compliance in reporting and 98% of the centres we seal is because of irregularities in their records. Here, we found inaccurate residential addresses, no details of children of the person undergoing a scan, results of what was investigated among other things in their record,” said an NIMC member, wishing to remain anonymous.
“Also, this centre deals with many cases of surrogacy; we didn’t find information on what happened to the women after delivering a child, how much money was paid, etc.,” added the member.
Claiming it to be a routine inspection, the 16-member team comprised state health ministry officials, the area sub-divisional magistrate, Delhi Police officials and members of the civil society.
Though Dr Gupta did not speak to the media, one of his centre staff said, “He is not available at the moment and there is no non-compliance and no irregularities. We will talk later.”
The raid was marked by a lot of drama. Shopkeepers from the market gathered inside the centre. A few even threatened this reporter while she was speaking to people inside the centre.
“We had clear instructions to switch off our cell phones while the raid was on. These people threatened to burn down the machines and were making calls. We didn’t want any of those intimidating calls,” said a member from the Delhi State Programme, PC & PNDT Act.
Some bewildered patients were in the clinic. They refused to leave even when they were told that the doctor wouldn’t see them. “We have come from very far and it’s not possible to make frequent visits. We were told he is a good doctor,” said a couple from Rohtak, Haryana.
The NIMC was constituted by the Supreme Court three years ago. It has been conducting surprise inspections of clinics and facilities offering ultrasound diagnostic services across the country. There are four teams with about five members each.