Health minister Suresh Shetty has asked the health department to intensify the crackdown on sonography centres that carry out illegal sex determination tests at the state advisory board meeting on Thursday.
Shetty also ordered that cases of illegal sonography be fast-tracked to court. This was the first time that the advisory board meeting saw participation from civic officials, representatives from Mumbai University and from SNDT University for women.
According to a government health department official who attended the meeting, Shetty has asked that only competent lawyers be engaged for cases of illegal sex determination, cases be made full-proof against
violating sonography machine owners and advisory committee meetings be held frequently to study each case in-depth and quickly give a go-ahead where cases need to be filed in court.
A dip in the sex ratio and growing instances of female foeticide has forced the state to reconsider the laws and the implementation of rules related to pre-natal sex determination.
On June 15, the health department started cracking down on centres violating the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Act , which prevents the use of diagnostic techniques such as ultrasound for the purpose of sex determination.
Till Thursday, the state has sealed 315 sonography machines and cases have been lodged against 86 machine owners for illegal sex determination.
Of the 7,939 machines registered in the state, the health department has inspected 7,569 machines.