The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan for failing to effectively implement the 18-year-old Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, which prohibits determination of the foetus' sex.
A bench of Justice KS RAdhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra observed that the declining sex ratio in these states was a matter of concern, and the authorities had failed to educate the people against female feticide.
"Why is there no awareness campaign? Why does gender inequality continue to exist? Statistics from 2012-13 show that much action hasn't taken place," the bench said.
The court was alarmed to know that Bihar hadn't taken effective steps to initiate action against radiologists and doctors conducting the illegal tests.
The Bihar health secretary admitted that the state had not been proactive on the issue as it was under the impression that only northern states face rampant female foeticide.
Justice Misra quoted from a book and said: "It is said that neurons in a female are more active, and therefore, they are wiser. Why don't you find out similar research to spread awareness?"
The court has reserved its order and hinted that it might lay down guidelines to ensure action is taken against the doctors under the PNDT Act.