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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Sex determination test:  Magistrate court sends notice to medical officer over action against doctors

mumbai Updated: Dec 03, 2019 00:36 IST
Hindustantimes
         

A magistrate court has issued a show-cause notice to the medical officer of L ward, Dr Sanjaykumar Dattaray Funde, over prosecution of two doctors, partners in a hospital located in Andheri, under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) (PCPNDT) Act without “reasonable grounds”.

The court also acquitted the four accused for want of evidence.

According to the case filed by Funde, in 2011, he received information that Dr Ivon Rocha, practising at several centres and clinics in the city, was indulging in determination of sex of the foetus.

A local journalist and a pregnant woman conducted a sting operation on July 8, 2011 at the hospital at Andheri. In the video, the doctor refused to disclose the sex of the child, until the woman paid for it. On the basis of this complaint, Funde, an authorised appropriate authority under the PCPNDT Act, initiated criminal proceedings against Dr Rocha; Venugopal Ramineni and Dr Prabhu Solanki, partners in the hospital; and Dr Sharad Sancheti who was in-charge of administration of the hospital on November 19, 2011.

Rajendra Sorankar, the lawyer for Ramineni and Solanki, argued that there was no evidence against them and they were maliciously dragged in the case.

He alleged that Dr Rocha, who allegedly conducted the test, was not an employee of the hospital, but had taken a cabin in hospital on rent.

“I do not find the prosecution is initiated in good faith because a long period of 131 days is taken to file the complaint. The complaint is filed after taking legal opinion from the Law officers of the Municipal Corporation. Despite taking such a long period and obtaining opinion from a legal person, the prosecution has been initiated against the accused No.2 and 3 (Ramineni and Solanki) in a very causal manner by putting their reputation at stake and causing them a lot of harassment, humiliation and agony due to the said prosecution,” the court stated.

During the trial, the prosecution failed to bring the tapes of the operation on record.

The pregnant woman, who was part of the sting operation, was examined, but gave contradictory statements.

The defence pointed out that she had arrived in the city only on July 9, 2011, questioning how could she be part of sting operation which was allegedly conducted a day before.