SC directs quick and tough action against female foeticide

Supreme Court directed Centre and state govts to take action against people indulging in female foeticide and directed effective implementation of PNDT Act prohibiting pre-natal sex determination.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre and state governments to take quick and tough action against people indulging in female foeticide and passed a slew of directions for effective implementation of PNDT Act that prohibits pre-natal sex determination.

The apex court directed the governments to map all ultra-sonography clinics within three months and asked the lower courts to dispose all cases for violation of the Act within a period of six months to bring the accused to book.

"Steps should be taken by the state government and the authorities under the Act for mapping of all registered and unregistered ultra-sonography clinics, in three months time," a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said.

"The various courts in this country should take steps to dispose of all pending cases under the Act, within a period of six months," it said.

The bench also said that special cell be constituted by the state governments and the Union Territories to monitor the progress of various cases pending in the courts under the Act and take steps for their early disposal.

It said that more vigil and attention by the authorities is required in view of "mushrooming" of various sonography centres, genetic clinics, genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, ultrasonic clinics and imaging centres in almost all parts of the country.

The court passed the order on a PIL by NGO Voluntary Health Association of Punjab pleading it to interfere in the matter in view of decreasing number of girls/boys ratio in the country.

The average count of girl child (0-6 years) in the country has dropped to 914 per 1000 boys as per the Census 2011 which was earlier 927 in the 2001 Census.