The Shindewadi Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in Dadar convicted two doctors last Friday for violating the law that prohibits tests for determining the sex of an unborn child and advertising a ‘treatment’ for those who wanted a son. The doctors were sentenced to three years in prison.
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (2003) prohibits the advertising of pre-conception and pre-natal determination of sex.
According to the prosecution, Aurangabad-based homoeopath Chhaya Tated (42) gave the advertisement in a magazine in 2004. She used to visit Shree Maternity and Nursing Home in Dadar, owned by Dr Shubangi Adkar (62), twice a month.
“We don’t know how many tests they conducted as they didn’t maintain records. It was the advertisement that helped us nab them,” said Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) prosecutor Zarir Engineer.
A complaint was filed against the duo by the BMC G/North Ward office after an inspection at the maternity home following the appearance of the advertisement. The complaint said the nursing home was neither registered nor was there the mandatory board warning against pre-natal sex determination.
“During the trial, Tated defended herself. She said the advertisement’s wording was due to a miscommunication between her and the person who took down the text,” said Engineer. Tated claimed she used the word ‘mool’ (child), but the person taking it down wrote ‘mulga’ (boy). “Tated said she issued a differently-worded advertisement in December 2004,” said Engineer.
“The magistrate said the correction was done only to protect herself,” said Engineer.
Adkar claimed she had nothing to do with the tests and that Tated only used to visit her nursing home. “The court held that Adkar had good relations with Tated and hence her involvement could not be ruled out,” said Engineer.
Tated and Adkar will not go to jail immediately. Their bail stands as they have challenged their convictions in the Sessions Court. “The case will be heard on January 25, 2010,” said Engineer.