Dr. Varsha Gautam W/O Dr. Rajesh Gautam vs State Of U.P

Bench: I Murtaza, A Saran
Dr. Varsha Gautam W/O Dr. Rajesh Gautam vs State Of U.P. Through Its Principal Secretary, Homes, The
S.H.O. And The Chief Medical Officer/Prescribed Authority, P.P.N.D.T. Act on 26/5/2006
JUDGMENT
Amar Saran, J.
1. This writ petition has been filed with a prayer for quashing of the first information report dated 11.4.2006
lodged at case crime No. 192 of 2006, under Sections 312 and 511 IPC read with the Pre-conception and
Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, hereinafter called ‘the Act.’
2. The allegations in the FIR lodged by the C.M.O., Agra on 11.4.06 at P.S. Hari Parvat, Agra was that a sting
operation shown on television by the Rastriya Sahara Channel revealed that a pregnant woman wanted to get
her abortion done because there was a girl child in her womb. She approached the petitioner Dr. Varsha
Gautam at her hospital, who agreed to perform the abortion although it was an offence to perform such an
operation and even determination of the sex by doctors using ultrasound technique was illegal. The petitioner
is said to have engaged in getting abortions done in her hospital in collusion with doctors, who determined the
sex of the foetus by conducting ultrasound tests. Her clinic was not even registered under the Act and she was
not entitled to conduct pre-natal diagnostic procedures therein.
3. We have heard Shri V.C. Mishra and Sri Kamal Krishna, learned Counsel for the petitioner and learned
Additional Government Advocate.
4. Firstly, it was contended that there is a bar on investigation in view of Section 28 of the Act, which
prohibits cognizance by any court of an offence except on a complaint made by the concerned appropriate
authority.
5. In our view the said prohibition does not apply at the stage of investigation and only relates to the stage
when cognizance is sought to be taken by the concerned court. In this regard when dealing with the question
of a bar under Section 195(1)(b)(ii), it has been held in M. Narayan Das v. State of Karnataka AIR 2004 SC
768, that the said bar only applies at the time when the court takes cognizance of an offence, and not at the
stage of investigation. The material Paragraph 8 reads as follows:
We are unable to accept the submissions made on behalf of the Respondents. Firstly it is to be seen that the
High Court does not quash the complaint on the ground that Section 195 applied and that the procedure under
Chapter XXVI had not been followed. Thus such a ground could not be used to sustain the impugned
judgment. Even otherwise there is no substance in the submission. The question whether Sections 195 and
340 of the Criminal Procedure Code affect the power of the police to investigate into a cognizable offence has
already been considered by this Court in the case of State of Punjab v. Raj Singh . In this case it has been
that as follows :
2. We are unable to sustain the impugned order of the High Court quashing the FIR lodged against the
respondents alleging commission of offences under Sections 419, 420, 467 and 468, I.P.C. by them in course
of the proceeding of a civil suit, on the ground that Section 195(1)(b)(ii), Cr. P. C. prohibited entertainment of
and investigation into the same by the police. From a plain reading of Section 195, Cr. P.C. it is manifest that
it comes into operation at the stage when the Court intends to take cognizance of an offence under Section
190(1), Cr. P. C; and it has nothing to do with the statutory power of the police to investigate into an FIR
which discloses a cognizable offence, in accordance with Chapter XII of the Code even if the offence is
alleged to have been committed in, or in relation to, any proceedings in Court. In other words, the statutory
Dr. Varsha Gautam W/O Dr. Rajesh … vs State Of U.P. Through Its … on 26 May, 2006
Indian Kanoon – http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1055558/ 1power of the police to investigate under the Code is not in any way controlled or circumscribed by Section
195, Cr. P. C. It is of course true that upon the charge-sheet (challan), if any, filed on completion of the
investigation into such an offence the Court would not be competent to take cognizance thereof in view of the
embargo of Section 195(1)(b), Cr. P. C., but nothing therein deters the Court from filing a complaint for the
offence on the basis of the FIR (filed by the aggrieved private party) and the materials collected during
investigation, provided it forms the requisite opinion and follows the procedure laid down in Section 340, Cr.
P. C. The judgment of this Court in Gopala-krishna Menon v. Raja Ready on which the High Court relied, has
no manner of application to the facts of the instant case for there cognizance was taken on a private complaint
even though the offence of forgery was committed in respect of a money receipt produced in the civil Court
and hence it was held that the Court could not take cognizance on such a complaint in view of Section 195,
Cr. P.C.
Not only are we bound by this judgment but we are also in complete agreement with the same. Sections 195
and 340 do not control or circumscribe the power of the police to investigate, under the Criminal Procedure
Code. Once investigation is completed then the embargo in Section 195 would come into play and. the Court
would not be competent to take cognizance. However that Court could then file a complaint for the offence on
the basis of the FIR and the material collected during investigation provided the procedure laid down in
Section 340, Criminal Procedure Code is followed. Thus no right of the Respondents, much less the right to
file an appeal under Section 341, is affected.
6. Secondly, it was urged that no offence under Section 312 read with Section 511 IPC is made out as mere
consent to commit the offence of performing the abortion on the woman is only an expression of an intention
to commit an offence and it could at the highest only be considered as preparation to commit an offence and
would not amount to any attempt to commit offence, which is punishable under the Penal Code.
7. There is no clear dividing line between the stage of preparation and the stage of attempt and these questions
of fact can properly be determined by the Court at the appropriate stage. In Abhyanand Mishra v. State of
Bihar , it has been held that obtaining forged mark sheets for the purpose of appearing in the M.A.
examinations was not regarded as only a preparation to commit an offence, but was considered an attempt to
cheat, even though the accused in that case had already been acquitted of committing forgery. Paragraphs 11
and 12 may be quoted here with advantage:
11. Another contention for the appellant is that the facts proved do not go beyond the stage of preparation for
the commission of the offence of ‘cheating’, and do not make out the offence of attempting to cheat. There is a
thin line between the preparation for and an attempt to commit an offence. Undoubtedly, a culprit first intends
to commit the offence, then makes preparation far committing it and thereafter attempts to commit the
offence. If the attempt succeeds, he has committed the offence; if it fails due to reasons beyond his control he
is said to have attempted to commit the offence. Attempt to commit an offence, therefore, can be said to begin
when the preparations are complete and the culprit commences to do something with the intention of
committing the offence and which is a step towards the commission of the offence. The moment he
commences to do an act with the necessary intention, he commences his attempt to commit the offence. This
is clear from the general expression ‘attempt to commit an offence’ and is exactly what the provisions of
Section 511, I.P.C. require. The relevant portion of Section 511. I.P. C., is:
Whoever attempts to commit an offence punishable by this Code…or to cause such an offence to be
committed and in such attempt does any act towards the commission of the offence, shall, where no express
provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such attempt be punished….
These provisions require that it is only when one, firstly, attempts to commit an offence and, secondly, in such
attempt, does any act towards the commission of the offence, that he is punishable for that attempt to commit
the offence. It follows, therefore, that the act which would make the culprit’s attempt to commit an offence
punishable, must be an act which, by itself or in combination with other acts, leads to the com mission of the
Dr. Varsha Gautam W/O Dr. Rajesh … vs State Of U.P. Through Its … on 26 May, 2006
Indian Kanoon – http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1055558/ 2offence. The first step in the commission of the offence of cheating, therefore, must be an act which would
lead to the deception of the person sought to be cheated. The moment a person takes some step to deceive the
person sought to be cheated, he has embarked on a course of conduct which is nothing less than an attempt to
commit the offence, as contemplated by Section 511. He does the act with the intention to commit the offence
and the act is a step towards the commission of the offence.
12. It is to be borne in mind that the question whether a certain act amounts to an attempt to commit a
particular offence is a question of fact dependent on the nature of the offence and the steps necessary to take
in order to commit it. No exhaustive precise definition of what would amount to an attempt to commit an
offence is possible. The cases referred to make this clear.
8. Again the observations in paragraph 16 of the said law reports further clarifies that attempt does not only
relate to the penultimate stage of the offence:
16. In In the matter of the petition of R. Mac Crea ILR 15 All 173 it was held that whether any given act or
series of acts amounted to an attempt which the law would take notice of or merely to preparation, was a
question of fact in each case and that Section 511 was not meant to cover only the penultimate act towards the
completion of an offence and not acts precedent, if those acts are done in the course of the attempt to commit
the_ offence, and were done with the intent to commit it and done towards its commission. Knox J., said at
page 179: “Many offences can easily be conceived where, with all necessary preparations made, a long
interval will still claps between the hour when the attempt to commit the offence commences and the hour
when it is completed. The offence of cheating and inducing delivery is an offence in point The time that may
elapse between the moment when the preparations made for committing the fraud are brought to bear upon the
mind of the person to be deceived and the moment when he yields to the deception practised upon him may be
a very considerable interval of time. There may be the interposition of inquiries and other acts upon his part.
The acts whereby those preparations may be brought to bear upon her mind may be several in point of
number, and yet the first act after preparations completed will, if criminal in itself, be beyond all doubt,
equally an attempt with the ninety and ninth act in the series.
Again, the attempt once began and a criminal act done in pursuance of it towards the commission of the act
attempted, does not cease to be a criminal attempt, in my opinion, because the person committing the offence
does or may repeal before the attempt is completed”. Blair, J., said at page 181:
It seems to me that the section (Section 511) uses the word ‘attempt’ in a very large sense; it seems to imply
that such an attempt may be made up of a series of acts, and that any one of those acts done towards the
commission of the offence, that is, conducive to its commission, is itself punishable, and though the act does
not use the words, it can mean nothing but punishable as an attempt. It does not say that the last act which
would form the final part of an attempt in the larger sense is the only act punishable under the section. It says
expressly that whosoever in such attempt, obviously using the word in the larger sense, does any act, and c.,
shall be punishable. The term ‘any act’ excludes the notion that the final act short of actual commission is
alone punishable.
We fully approve of the decision and the reasons therefor.
9. It was also argued by learned Counsel for the petitioner that no offence under the Act was disclosed, and
that the FIR itself mentioned that sex determination of the woman had already been conducted elsewhere,
when she approached the petitioner who agreed to perform the operation. Now according to learned Counsel
the offence would only arise at the stage when an illegal abortion was performed on the woman, which would
constitute an offence under Section 312 IPC and not under the Act.
10. In this connection the definition of sex selection in Section 2(o) of the Act may usefully be perused:
Dr. Varsha Gautam W/O Dr. Rajesh … vs State Of U.P. Through Its … on 26 May, 2006
Indian Kanoon – http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1055558/ 3Section 2(o) “Sex selection includes any procedure, technique, test or administration or prescription or
provision of anything for the purpose of ensuring or increasing the probability that an embryo will be of a
particular sex.
11. Section 3A prohibits sex selection by providing that no person including a specialist in the field of
infertility, shall conduct or cause to be conducted or aid in conducting by himself or by any other person, sex
selection on a woman or a man. Section 3A of the Act reads as under:
3-A. Prohibition of sex selection:. No person, including a specialist or a team of specialists in the field of
infertility, shall conduct or came to be conducted or aid in conducting by himself or by any other person, sex
selection on a woman or a man or on both or on any tissue, embryo, conceptus, fluid or gametes derived from
either or both of them.
12. It is thus clear from a reading of Section 3A of the Act that prohibition of sex selection (i.e. an act for
increasing the probability that an embryo will of a particular sex) has been given a wide meaning under the
said provisions and the restriction is on every person including a specialist on conducting or even causing to
be conducted or aiding in conducting by himself or by any other person sex selection on a woman or a man or
on both or on any tissue, embryo, conceptus, fluid or gametes derived from either of both of them. Therefore,
both conducting sex selection oneself or by aiding another person to engage in sex selection, has been brought
within the purview of this section.
13. The contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner that sex selection only amounts to determination
of the sex of the embryo, which was conducted by an outside agency and thereafter determination of the
pregnancy would constitute only an offence under Section 312 IPC, which, for the reasons mentioned by the
learned Counsel had not reached the stage of attempt, cannot therefore be accepted.
14. Sex determination includes not only determination of the sex, but also includes anything done from
fertilization until birth, which increases the probability that the embryo will be of a particular sex. Therefore,
sex selection cannot only be confined to the determination of the sex of the foetus.
15. That such a comprehensive and extended meaning of sex selection has been given is also clear from an
examination of Sections 6(b) and Section 6(c) of the Act, which read as under:
6(b) “No person shall conduct of cause to be conducted any pre-natal diagnostic techniques including
ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of a foetus;
6(c) No person shall, by whatever means, cause or allow to be caused selection of sex before or after
conception.
16. It is noteworthy that Section 6(c) as also the other provisions relating to the aspect of sex selection have
been introduced by the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment
Act, 2002 (14 of 2003) with effect from 14.2.2004. Prior to that date only determination of sex by
uttrasonography etc was prohibited, but after the said amendment, any step taken by a specialist or any other
person to cause or even to allow to be caused selection of sex before or after conception was made punishable.
17. It appears that this amendment was introduced also for ensuring that all aspects of sex selection, starting
from the initial activity of determination of the sex by pre-natal diagnostic procedures and thereafter all the
steps taken by any person or specialist for facilitating sex selection before or after conception would be
brought under the ambit of this amendment.
18. Even the title of the Act was amended and whereas in the earlier title the long title was for “An Act to
provide for the Regulation of the use of Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques for…. after the amendment Act No.
Dr. Varsha Gautam W/O Dr. Rajesh … vs State Of U.P. Through Its … on 26 May, 2006
Indian Kanoon – http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1055558/ 414 of 2003 the initial line reads as “An Act to provide for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after
conception and for regulation of prenatal diagnostic techniques…the purpose of pre-natal sex determination
leading to female foeticide…
19. The statement of objects and reasons of the amendment Act No. 14 of 2003 also indicated the inadequacy
of the 1994 Act and the need for expanding the scope of the Act so as to include a ban on sex selection
techniques and procedures. The statement of Objects and Reasons of Act No. 14 of 2003 reads as under:
Amendment Act 14 of 2003-Statement of Objects and Reasons- The pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques
(Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 seeks to prohibit pre-natal diagnostic techniques for
determination of sex of the foetus leading to female foeticide. During recent years, certain inadequacies and
practical difficulties in the administration of the said Act have come to the notice of the Government, which
has necessitated amendments in the said Act.
2. The pre-natal diagnostic techniques like amniocentesis and sonography are useful for the detection of
genetic or chromosomal disorders or congenital malformations or sex linked disorders, etc. However, the
amniocentesis and sonography are being used on a large scale to detect the sex of the foetus and to terminate
the pregnancy of the unborn child if found to be female. Techniques are also being developed to select the sex
of child before conception. These practices and techniques are considered discriminatory to the female sex
and not conducive to the dignity of the women.
3. The proliferation of the technologies mentioned above may, in future, precipitate a catastrophe, in the form
of severe imbalance in male-female ratio. The State is also duty bound to intervene in such mailers to uphold
the welfare of the society, especially of the women and children. It is, therefore, necessary to enact and
implement in letter and spirit a legislation to ban the pre-concepiion sex selection techniques and the misuse
of prenatal diagnostic techniques for sex-selective abortions and to provide for the regulation of such
abortions. Such a law is also needed to uphold medical ethics and initiate the process of regulation of medical
technology in the larger interests of the society.
4. Accordingly, it is proposed to amend the aforesaid Act with a view to banning the use of both sex selection
techniques prior to Conception as well as the misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex selective
abortions and to regulate such techniques with a view to ensuring their scientific use for which they are
intended.
20. We also observed that admittedly there was no registration of the petitioner’s clinic under the Act, which
amounts to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Act. The said provisions reads as under:
Section 3(1) ” No Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic laboratory or Genetic Clime unless registered under
this Act, shall conduct or associate with, or help in, conducting activities relating to prenatal diagnostic
techniques.
21. The said provisions also clarifies that no Genetic Counseling Centre, Laboratory or clinic unless it is
registered under the Act can conduct or even associate with or help in conducting the activities relating to
pre-natal diagnostic techniques. Therefore, even association or helping with activities for sex selection would
be prohibited under the Act.
22. In this background, we also find no force in another contention raised by the learned Counsel for the
petitioner that as the offence of engaging or aiding any sex selection is punishable for three years under
Section 23 of the Act, and as the present offence would only be a case of attempt to commit, whose maximum
punishment would be half or 1 1/2 years, hence an offence of sex selection, would become non-cognizable in
view of the last clause of Schedule 1, of the Code of Criminal Procedure dealing with ‘Classification of
Offences against other laws’. Here it may be pointed that there is a direct provision under the Act, viz. Section
Dr. Varsha Gautam W/O Dr. Rajesh … vs State Of U.P. Through Its … on 26 May, 2006
Indian Kanoon – http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1055558/ 527 which clearly provides that every offence under this Act shall be cognizable, non-bailable and
non-compoundable. Therefore this special provision in the Act would prevail over the general provision in
view of Section 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
23. The last submission raised by the learned Counsel for the petitioner by means of a supplementary affidavit
that while preparing a certain Parcha of the case diary on 20.4.2006, the investigating officer had exonerated
the petitioner from an offence under the Act.
24. We cannot consider or appreciate the value of such an entry in the case diary at this stage in the present
petition under Article 226, and it is for the court to apply its mind and consider whether an offence under a
particular provision is made out or not at the appropriate stage. In this connection it has been held in Supdt. of
Police, CBI v. Tapan Kumar Singh , that the FIR need not even mention all the ingredients of an offence, and
the same may be brought out on the conclusion of the investigation:
22. The High Court has also quashed the GD entry and the investigation on the ground that the information
did not disclose all the ingredients of the offence, as if the informant is obliged to reproduce the language of
the section, which defines “criminal misconduct” in the Prevention of Corruption Act, In our view the law
does not require the mentioning of all the ingredients of the offence in the first information report. It is only
after a complete investigation that it may he possible to say whether any offence is made out on the basis of
evidence collected by the investigating agency.
25. It has further been mentioned in paragraph 22 of the aforesaid law report that the mere mention or
non-mention of a particular section in the FIR is not conclusive, and it is for the Court to determine at the
appropriate stage as to the offence for which the charge may be framed. The relevant lines read as under:
Similarly, the mentioning of a particular section in the FIR is not by itself conclusive as it is for the court to
frame charges having regard, to the material on record. Even if a wrong section is mentioned in the FIR, that
does not prevent the court from framing appropriate charges.
26. As any activity for sex selection as pointed out above has very grave social consequences as it can disturb
the balance in the male-female ratio. With the female-male ratio having already declined to 933 per 1000
males, we are sitting on a virtual time bomb, which can spell social disaster. Instances of villages where there
are no eligible females for marriages are being reported, or where girls are being purchased from backward
areas for servicing several brothers as brides. Whilst the earlier primitive methods of female foeticide were
still relatively confined to a limited section of the population, however by using the modem scientific and
relatively covert methods which the Act seeks to bring under its purview, sex selection has become a rampant
phenomena which has affected every strata of society.
27. In view of the laxity in implementing the provision of the Act, and the continuing sex-selection and
discriminatory practices against the female child compared to the male child, the apex Court has issued
directions in Centre for Enquiry Into Health And allied Themes (CEHAT) and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors.
calling for the effective implementation of the Act and for complying with its earlier order. The Center/State
Govts. and Union Territories were further directed to issue advertisements to create awareness in public that
there should not be any discrimination between male and female child. The reports of appropriate authorities
were to be published annually for information of public. The National Monitoring and Inspection Committee
was to continue to function till the Act was effectively implemented. Certain States were directed to appoint
State Supervisory Boards and multi-membered appropriate authorities.
28. In view of what has been indicated hereinabove, we find no ground to quash the FIR or to stay the arrest
of the petitioner. The petition has no force. It is accordingly dismissed.
Dr. Varsha Gautam W/O Dr. Rajesh … vs State Of U.P. Through Its … on 26 May, 2006
Indian Kanoon – http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1055558/ 6

http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1055558/

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Author: savedaughters19

This is a coverage of my struggles to save my daughters.I am thank full to my parents not only for Not killing me ,but also helping me save my daughters... My dream- A big shelter house for women who want to give birth to their daughters and raise them up with dignity and self respect , but have to fight their own families to do so. Will have medical facilities and facilities for legal aid. will have training centers for vocational courses so that they can stand up on their own two feet and stop the dependency on their husbands for finances, A child care center run and managed by the inmates, A kitchen and a vegetable farm run and managed by the inmates. At present only a dream.... But with grace of God will become a reality. God will show the way and means to achieve the dream.

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