HC calls female foeticide "mass carnage"

Last Updated: May 20, 2013, 21:15 PM IST

Allahabad: Coming down heavily on doctors carrying out sex determination tests, the Allahabad High Court has said the law against it has not been effectively enforced in states like Uttar Pradesh.

"The number of deaths of female children in the womb (female foeticide) in the last decade has exceeded the total deaths in the first and the second world war", a Division Bench comprising Justices Sunil Ambwani and Manoj Kumar Gupta said in a judgement dated May 17, 2013.

"It is unfortunate that in a civilised country like India some people, for their petty gains, are using modern technology for sex determination which ultimately leads to abortion of female foetus", the court said, adding it was "pained to observe" that many "qualified and registered doctors" were involved in such practices.

The court expressed dismay over the fact that in the last one decade, doctors in the country "have been responsible for abortions of 10 million women, killing female children in the womb."

This mass carnage of female foetuses in womb has made Indian doctors responsible for the crime which has no parallel in the history of modern medical science."

The court expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that though the PNDT Act was in force, it was not being effectively implemented especially in states like Uttar Pradesh where "effective steps to seal the clinics and prosecute the doctors" has not been taken.

The observations were made while dismissing the writ petition of Dr Dwarika Prasad from Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh, who had challenged the District Magistrate`s order dated March 16, 2013 whereby the license of his Ultrasound and X-ray centre was cancelled for violating the PNDT Act.

The court upheld the order of the District Magistrate observing that he had done a "commendable job" and directed him to "refer the petitioner`s case to the Medical Council of India" for further action, besides ordering that criminal proceedings be initiated against him for carrying out sex determination tests.