HC seeks Centre's response on PIL against female foeticide



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre's response on a PIL seeking direction to the government and its agencies for "strict compliance" of legislations prohibiting sex selection before or after conception to curb the menace of female foeticide.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) to file a status report within three months about the steps taken by the government to prevent illegal sex selection at various diagnostic centres.

Seeking response from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the bench posted the PIL for November 4 for further hearing.

In the PIL, petitioner Beti Bachao Samiti, a registered society, urged the court to direct various government authorities to strictly comply with the provisions of the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of sex selection) Act (PC and PNDT Act).

".... Unborn girl children who while in their mother's womb, after being identified as a female foetus, were terminated in contravention of the provisions of the PC and PNDT Act...Public authorities are directly responsible for the implementation of the Act," the petition said.

"It is humbly submitted that in India, the declining Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) is a matter of concern and sex selection leading to female foeticide is foremost cause presenting itself as one of the greatest socio-legal challenges...," the petitioner said and urged the court to ensure implementation of its suggestions given to the government earlier on the issue.

According to the petitioner, the Supreme Court has already given direction for proper implementation of the Act but the government has failed to do so which resulted decline of female sex ratio.

PTI