Pune radiologist sentenced to 3 years jail under PCPNDT Act; gets bail
She was convicted of conducting illegal sex determination tests along with late Dr M Ranade.Updated: May 15, 2019 14:35 IST
Dr Nina Mathrani, a city radiologist and sonologist who was booked in 2011 by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for violating many sections of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT), 1994, was sentenced to a three-year jail term on Tuesday. She was, however, released immediately on bail.
She was convicted of conducting illegal sex determination tests along with late Dr M Ranade.
The two doctors were booked for violating many sections under the PCPNDT Act, 1994, by PMC’s PCPNDT Cell in 2011, by the then head of the cell, Dr Vaishali Jadhav. Dr Mathrani said that she would be appealing against the judgement in a higher court.
Dr Mathrani, a radiologist and sonologist, was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment (RI) and a fine of ₹10,000 by Judicial Magistrate First Class, Vishakha B Patil.
Dr Vaishali Jadhav, the then assistant health officer of PMC, had filed the case in the court after finding many violations under the Act in 2011. Dr Jadhav said, “During my tenure as the head of PCPNDT Cell, I had filed 34 cases and since 2011 of the 34, already six doctors have been convicted, Mathrani is the seventh.”
According to Dr Jadhav, “This case stands apart as the doctor violated all possible sections of the PCPNDT. There was a decoy, a sting operation, illegal sex determination test, incomplete records were found, bribe, among others. The sting operation and decoy were arranged by Kiran Moghe, Janwadi Mahila Sangathan in association with other government authorities of the state. Later after finding out the irregularities we took it up and filed a case. After nine years of filing the case, the judgement was announced by the JMFC court.”
Moghe, state president of Janwadi, who helped frame the entire sting, said, “We along with Tathapi, another NGO, performed the sting operation. It is important to know that due diligence of Dr Jadhav paid off and finally the court announced Mathrani’s conviction. We had presented all evidence related to the case like video clips, money taken by the doctors. Still it took eight years to come to a conclusion. However, we are happy with it.”
The woman in the decoy couple who was directed by Moghe to Dr Ranade’s clinic said, she acted as instructed and told Dr Ranade that they were under pressure to have a son and wanted to know the gender of the foetus.
“He explained to us how the abortion is done and directed us to Dr Mathrani’s clinic. Before directing he gave us a letter which had a code word and we were warned to keep mum. On visiting Dr Mathrani, she saw the letter, conducted the test and we were out. She did not ask us anything. A of total ₹8,000 were taken from us as bribe. Dr Ranade even told us how to check the gender of the aborted foetus,” the woman said.
The woman, who was then three months pregnant, gave birth to a baby girl later. She said, “We are happy that Mathrani got convicted, but there could be many Ranades and Mathranis who need to be nabbed. It is a deeply rooted nexus which needs to be exposed.”
Anand Randive, lawyer, PMC health department, said, “This is a landmark case as the doctors were found to have violated all the sections under PCPNDT Act like Section 4 (1), 4 (2); Section 5 (1) (b) (c); Section 6 (b) (c), rule 9 and 10 (1A). The accused shall now undergo rigorous imprisonment of three years for offence punishable under Section 23 of PCPNDT Act for breach of all sections.”