City doctor caught on camera conducting sex determination testUpdated: Nov 23, 2019 00:22 IST
A city doctor was caught on camera telling a pregnant woman that she will have a “daughter” in a nursing home in Janak Puri on Friday. The tout who had taken the woman to the clinic was arrested, three ultrasound machines were sealed, a case is being filed by the district authority, according to the officials.
“The nursing home has been performing sex determination for a long time. Although, the tout kept changing her story she did initially admit that she alone had brought about 250 patients to the clinic,” said Dr Nitin Kumar, state programme officer of Delhi’s Pre-Conception, Pre-Natal Diagnostics Technique Act (PC-PNDT).
The PC-PNDT Act was enacted in 1994 to prevent sex-selective abortions, which led to India’s child sex ratio (0-6 years) falling from 927 girls/1,000 boys in 2001 to 919 /1,000 boys in 2011, according to the census data.
Under the PC-PNDT Act, hospitals, nursing homes, and diagnostic centres are forbidden from using ultrasound to determine and communicate the sex of the unborn child to the parents. Breaking the law can lead up to three years of imprisonment and a fine of R 10,000. On subsequent offences, the prison term may extend to 5 years and the fine to R 1 lakh.
Action against clinics doing illegal sex-determination improved Delhi’s sex ratio at birth from 902 girls per 1,000 boys in 2016, to 913 in 2017.
The operation was jointly carried out by teams from Delhi and Haryana.
The pregnant woman had been sent in as a ‘decoy customer’ by the Haryana team. She had paid the tout, Kitabo, a sum of R 35,000 in currency notes whose numbers had been recorded in an affidavit before the operation started.
The tout met the woman in Bahadurgarh in Haryana and travelled with her to Sai Nursing Home in Janakpuri where the owner Dr Anshu Arora performed the ultrasound and revealed the gender of the baby to the father. She also did not follow any of the procedures mandatory under the PC-PNDT act like filling out the form F before doing the test, taking the ID of the patient, and recording the patient’s consent.
As soon as the sex determination was done, the PC PNDT team entered the centre. They were able to recover the currency notes. On interviewing the doctor, she said that she said she fills out the forms for the patients for whom she provides the report.
Under the act, an ultrasound probe cannot be used without filling out Form F and taking written consent from the patient.
The land-line number and a mobile number listed for the hospital remained unanswered.