Flouting PC-PNDT Act: MMC special meet to decide on 48 pending cases
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After issuing suspension orders against 21 doctors for flouting provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) now plans to hold a special meeting to decide on the other 48 pending cases.
MMC president Dr Kishore Taori told Newsline that while a meeting has been planned, the quasi-judicial authority will review each case before arriving at a decision.
The MMC was in a dilemma as four to five doctors had challenged the orders and slapped civil suits against it. In two cases, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has ruled against the MMC decision to suspend the doctors while in another case, the Mumbai High Court has upheld the suspension. Hence, MMC doctors now want to conduct a hearing and take decisions accordingly.
When contacted, Dr Asaram Khade, state PC-PNDT consultant, admitted that while 400 cases have been filed against doctors for violating the PC-PNDT Act, 302 are pending in the court. Charges have been framed against 69 doctors, of which names of 55 doctors have been sent to the MMC and seven to the Indian Medical Council.
The Bombay HC in its earlier order had directed the MMC to suspend doctors convicted for violating the Act and take action against those against whom charges have been framed. The action included suspension of registration till the case is disposed of if charges have been framed in the court. In case of conviction in a lower court, the doctor will not be allowed to practise until the case is disposed of by an appellate court. Those convicted will be struck off the council register for five years for the first offence (unless the higher courts absolve the doctor) and permanently for a subsequent offence.
In a majority of the cases, doctors have not being able to maintain records and other technical requirements under the PC-PNDT Act. However, lower courts have passed conviction orders and more than 40 per cent of the doctors have appealed against the judgement. According to the Act, the punishment is three-year RI and Rs 10,000 fine.