122 cases in 20 yrs under PNDT Act, convictions in five

For a state, which is among the worst when it comes to lop-sided sex ratio, Punjab, in the last nearly 20 years, has convicted the culprits only in five cases out of the total 122 lodged under PC & PNDT Act in various districts. The conviction rate, thus, stands at a measly 4.09 per cent.

Also, despite the fact that the sex ratio hardly registered any improvement in the 2012 census, the state has failed to strictly implementing the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC and PNDT Act) 1994 and amended in year 2002.

The Punjab Directorate of Family Welfare provided the details under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to The Indian Express.

The Directorate informed that ever since the PNDT Act was implemented , out of the 122 cases lodged, only 20 were pertaining to sex determination tests. Also, 95 cases were registered till 2007 while remaining 27 cases were registered in past five years.

In three years — 2010 to 2012 — around 223 ultrasound and scanning centres were suspended for violation of PNDT Act, but the cancellation rate of licences stands at less then 15 per cent as the licences of only 29 centres were cancelled.

The low number of PNDT cases in Punjab has not only exposed the failure of the state government in effectively implementing the Act, but also reflects the apathetic attitude of the authorities towards the illegal practices.

As of June 2012, Punjab has 1,310 registered ultrasound centres. As per the norms, the inspection of every centre is mandatory every three months. But sources in the health department said that not even 50 per cent of inspections could be conducted. A total of 1,329 and 2,300 inspections were carried out in 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively.

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