Apex court lays down guidelines on foeticide
The Supreme Court on Monday laid down the guidelines for the strict implementation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostics Act (PNDT) and directed the central supervisory board and the state supervisory boards to hold a meeting once in six months to ensure the provisions of the Act are not breached.
“The decline in the female child ratio all over the country leads to an irresistible conclusion that the practice of eliminating female foetus by the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques is widely prevalent in this country,” said a bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra while issuing the guidelines. The court gave all the states and Centre to file a status report within three months.
The advisory committees have been directed to seize records, seal machines and institute legal proceedings if they notice any violation of the Act. On confirming the breach, the advisory committees should inform state medical councils and seek cancellation of the errant doctor’s licence to practice and suspension of the registration of the ultrasound clinic.
“The authorities should ensure also that all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories and genetic clinics, infertility clinics, scan centres etc. using preconception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques and procedures should maintain all records and all forms, required to be maintained under the Act and the rules and the duplicate copies of the same be sent to the concerned district authorities, in accordance with Rule 9(8) of the Rules,” the bench ordered.
Advisory boards have also been directed to ensure that all manufacturers and sellers of ultra-sonography machines do not sell any machine to any unregistered centre and a list of persons to whom machines have been sold should be prepared on quarterly basis and sent to the respective state government and the Centre.