Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi government and the Centre to take immediate steps to curb “rampant” female foeticide in the Capital and issue strict guidelines for nursing homes and diagnostic centres.
A high court bench headed by acting Chief Justice AK Sikri was hearing a public-interest litigation filed by the non-governmental organisation Beti Bachao Samiti which expressed concern over the poor child sex ratio in Delhi and sought urgent corrective steps
The PIL said that despite a ban, many nursing homes continued to conduct prenatal sex determination tests and the government was not acting tough.
“Abortion of female foetus is still easy. The penal provisions in the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 2003 is not being strictly enforced despite repeated directions of the Supreme Court (sic),” the petition said.Quoting the 2011 census data, the PIL said Delhi had one of the lowest sex ratios in India and it is much below the national average of 914.
As per the census, Delhi's sex ratio of children up to six years of age has dropped to 866 girls per 1,000 boys from 868 girls in 2001.
The NGO which has conducted sting operations to expose various diagnostic centres and nursing homes said the government’s schemes like Laadli Yojna had not served the desired purpose of improving the sex ratio.
It submitted various suggestions, including creating awareness of the law, putting curbs on uncontrolled mushrooming of diagnostic centres and more raids on suspicious clinics. The court directed the Delhi government and the Centre to consider the suggestions and come up with guidelines in three months.