Taking strict action against the practice of pre-natal sex determination, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has suspended five doctors against whom charges have been framed in court for disclosing the sex of unborn children.
MMC is the governing body and licencing authority for doctors in the state. “After we received the details about charge-sheets being filed against the five doctors, MMC sent them show-cause notices in November. However, since we did not get any satisfactory reply from them, we sent them suspension letters on December 17,” said Dr Kishore Taori, MMC president.
The suspended doctors include Dr Madhav Trimbakrao Sanap and Dr Sayyad Tarak Ahmad Sayyad from Beed, Dr Katkar Bhausahed Haribhau and Dr Argade Keertikumar Vasant from Kolhapur and Dr Nagane Mohankumar Bandopant from Pune.
Dr Taori pointed said the MMC has suspended the registrations of these doctors under the provision of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of sex selection) (PCPNDT) Act, 2003 and the Maharashtra Medical Council Act, 1965 till the case is deposed by the court.
The PCPNDT Act bans the use of sonography machines to detect the sex of the foetus to prevent female foeticide.
Dr Shivkumar Utture, a MMC member, said: “This is the first time that the MMC has suspended any doctors since the PCPNDT Act came into existence in 2003.”
If the court convicts these doctors, they cannot practice in the state for the next five years. In case of a repeat offence, names of such doctors would be permanently removed from the MMC register.
“Till now the state government was not very active in prosecuting such doctors under this act and such action would deter those who are performing sex determination tests in future,” added Dr Utture.
The MMC has also written to the health secretary and director of Directorate of Health Services to immediately pass on the information of other doctors against whom such charge-sheets have been filed.