Sex ratio at birth sees a quantum leap
When contacted Dr Vaijayanti Patwardhan, who heads the Garima unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said there was strict implementation of the Act and the medical body too had taken stern measures to deal with complaints. In Pune, 40 cases were filed against doctors for flouting the PC-PNDT Act. So far 17 cases have seen verdicts while 23 are pending.
While the 17 cases pertained to non-registration of ultrasound machines for which 18 doctors were pulled up for non-maintenance of records, the remaining pertained to advertisements claiming to help couples get a son. One doctor was caught in check sex selective practice case in which a decoy was used.
State's drive to enforce PCPNDT Act lauded
Maharashtra's efforts to strictly implement the Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act reportedly found appreciation in the Supreme Court on February 12 at the hearing of a PIL filed by Voluntary Health Association of Punjab (VHAP). SC bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra had summoned the health secretaries of seven worst performing states to provide details on action taken to implement the Act.
NGO VHAP had in the PIL highlighted violation of Act and told the court through their counsel Colin Gonsalves that any figure below 900 girls per 1000 boys should be viewed seriously.
Maharashtra where average sex ratio at birth had dipped to as low as 883 girls per 1000 boys had taken a series of steps to strictly implement the Act. According to health officials at the State Family Welfare Bureau, 8,413 sonography centres have been brought under the registered category until December 2012 and 38 raids using decoys have been conducted. During an inspection of sonography and Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) centres in June last year, action was taken against 291 sonography centres and 341 MTP centres.