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Adopt global norms for sex determination centres: HC to Centre

The Delhi High Court has suggested to the Central government to adopt the best international practices to decide the criteria for setting up testing centres for conducting sex determination in the country.



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has
suggested to the Central government to adopt the best
international practices to decide the criteria for setting up
testing centres for conducting sex determination in the
country.

"The absence of clear rules and guidelines spelling
out unambiguously the qualification, training and experience
required for operating a diagnostic clinic offering ultrasound
tests has resulted in unethical practices being adopted in
many such clinics in violation of the PNDT Act going
unchecked," said Justice S Muralidhar.

The court suggested amending of the Pre-conception and
Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (prohibition of sex selection)
Act (PNDT Act) and directed conduct of a comprehensive survey
after consulting the experts in the medical fraternity and in
education.

"As a result of the weak definition of the term
`sonologist` under the PNDT Act, the mushrooming growth of
diagnostic clinics is unable to be effectively regulated," the
court also said in a judgment while allowing two petitions
challenging the erstwhile Medical Council of India`s (MCI)
order rejecting their applications to renew the registration
of their ultrasound clinics.

Justice Muralidhar said, "To avoid any confusion, the
requirements in terms of qualification, training and
experience to recognise and register as sonologist should be
incorporated...In determining the criteria, the best available
international practices should be adopted to suit conditions".

Citing the cases of two doctors-K L Sehgal and Sonal
Randhawa- as "disconcerting state of affairs", the court said,
"These cases underscore the need to amend the PNDT Act to plug
the loopholes..." and suggested the names of the institutions
state-wise which are recognised for that purpose will have to
be notified.

PTI

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