Five month activity report of National support and monitoring cell

FIVE MONTH ACTIVITY REPORT OF NATIONAL SUPPORT AND MONITORING CELL

15TH MAY -14TH OCTOBER 06

Activity report of National Support and Monitoring Cell-PNDT (May 15-October 15 2006)

I. Introduction
Misuse of preconception and prenatal diagnostic test has led to rampant practice of sex selection followed by pre birth elimination of females in the country leading to decline in child sex ratio. One of the biggest challenges in combating this problem has been the implementation of the PNDT act from the time of its inception in 1994. Even though Supreme Court directive in 2002 activated the state governments in some action but still there is lot of scope for its proper implementation.

Addressing this concern as apart of the special efforts initiated by the Government of India to make enforcement of the provisions of The PC&PNDT Act more effective, and especially to arrest the spreading menace of female foeticide, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare constituted a National Support & Monitoring Cell to help enhance the capabilities of the “Appropriate Authorities” constituted under the said Act – with one consultants each from the field of Police
Mr Maxwell Pereira (law enforcement consultant) , Law Ms Veena Kumari (legal consultant) and Social Science Ms Ifat Hamid (Social Scientist Consultant).

II. Role
The cell was envisaged to play the role of providing technical support to the Appropriate Authorities and to monitor, evaluate and follow-up the action taken by the appropriate authorities in the states under the PNDT Act so that proper and unbiased implementation of the law can be ensured.

III. Activities
A. State Evaluation: Cell took evaluation visits to two states Delhi and J&K
1. Delhi Visit: Delhi, capital of India is witnessing rampant practice of sex selection and the implementation of the PNDT act has been dismal. Social scientist of the NSMS being active with the implementation process of PNDT law in Delhi before joining NSMC identified the need to evaluate the situation in capital city of Delhi. Continuous dealing with the state appropriate authorities and district authorities and knowing the dismal state of affairs was reason enough to take this opportunity to evaluate the status in the state. Accompanying Law Enforcement consultant Social Scientist visited the State Appropriate Authority in the month of July 06.
Delhi govt has a multi-member state appropriate authority and state supervisory board and state advisory committee is in place but in terms of implementation Delhi govt completed decentralisation of the act early this year by dividing the court cases district wise and districts filing cases at the district level. Delhi has been reporting 77 cases filed in the court under the act but while evaluating the status it was found only 40 cases were active from the old cases and new 15 cases have been filed this year by different districts. Besides this, there is need of regular surveys and mapping of the ultrasound machine at the district level to ensure hundred percent registrations of the clinics and avoid the illegal operations of the unregistered prenatal and preconception diagnostic units. Appropriate authorities need to keep an eye on the mobile ultrasound machines which have maximum potential for misuse. (Detailed report of the visit attached-Annex-I)

2. J&K State: The areas of Jammu and Doda have shown similar trend like Punjab in terms of decline in sex ratio in last decade. To address these concern social activities felt need to implement PNDT law in the state and after lot of advocacy by the Social activists with the State government, PNDT law was adopted by state assembly in April 2002. Being a political disturbed area in spite of regular advocacy by the civil society members Act couldn’t be followed by rules and regulation that are crucial for the implementation of any law. Social scientist hailing from the area strongly felt the need to pursue with the formation of rules and regulations with the state so that boom of ultrasound can be regulated in the
state.
Social scientist from NSMC visited the state in August 06 to evaluate the situation on ground. According to official reports the rules had earlier approved by CM in 2004 but due to objection from the law department it was sent for wetted to the
law departments. Law department long back has send the rules back but it not clear why the department of HME is sitting on it and not sending it for approval to the CM. Departments has notified state appropriate authorities and advisory committees but it has not been updated as many members have been either transferred or retired.

The directorate is claiming that they are registering the US clinics in the state but those registrations stand no legality as they are registered under Medical Establishment Act 1963. The department of HME have published the norms for registrations of different medical establishments including ultrasound clinics. But the setback with this process of registration is that if some body misuses the ultrasound machine no legal case can be filed against that. This whole initiative seems to be an eye washing to avoid proper implementation of the Act in the state. In the whole Kashmir division they have registered just 83 ultrasound clinics while as actual number can be many folds. Only Srinagar district have more than hundred ultrasound machines. (Detailed report attached – Annex-II.)
According to the state sources CM has given approval to the rules in September 2006 and the notification of the same in the state gazette is on cards.
B. Follow up with appropriate authorities on sting operations: Cell also followed up with the Gwalior & Jhansi district authorities and Rajasthan state authorities
a. Rajasthan follow-up
Dr. S.P. Yadav, the State Appropriate Authority, Rajasthan had made a request to Dr. Ratan Chand, the National Director PC & PNDT, New Delhi to provide Legal Assistance in the cases connected with the sting operations conducted by the
SAHARA TV. Social scientisted and advocate from the NSMC visited the state on 19th July 06 to access the situation and lend the requisite support to the state authorities. It was found that till that date no complaint was filed before the court of law and in the 21 sting operations at the first instance, only the FIRs were registered. The authorities were not aware about the filing of the private complaints. NSMC members also met Ms. Shubra Singh, Secretary Health to ensure that as required under the Act, in all the sting operations i.e. 65 the separate private complaints would be filed by the concerned AA in their respective district by the end of July.
We are in touch with the Authorities but they have been unable to keep the promise and the cases have not been filed as per latest information available in august district authorities are still collecting the requisite evidence. (Detailed report attached Annexure III)

b. Gwalior follow- up
Four doctors were shown indulging in the criminal act of sex selection in a sting operation conducted by Sahara TV. To follow up the action taken by the appropriate authorities against the doctors shown indulging in the criminal act Social Scientist from NSMC visited Gwalior on 7th August 06 and met DM and CMO of Gwalior. The appropriate authority Gwalior had only issued show cause notices to the clinic and desealed the clinics after the preliminary sealing. The NSMC also visited these clinics and found that they have resumed there work. NSMC provided the CD of the sting operation telecasted on the Sahara TV and advised to file cases against these erring doctors under PNDT. Till date no cases has been files by the appropriate authority beside regular perseverance. (Detailed report attached Annexure IV)
c. Jhansi Follow-up:
NDTV in April with the support of some social activist probed into the unethical practices of sex selection in the district of Jhansi. While going around especially around Jhansi medical college NDTV team accompanied with a decoy patient was stunned to find that the ultrasound clinics are thriving on the criminal practice of sex selection. NDTV telecasted recording of this sting operation on 30th April 06 at 9:30 pm in which one doctor from Vardhman ultrasound clinic was shown indulging in sex selection on camera. After this experience NDTV team met District collector in this regard and got his reaction on this criminal practice in the district. The telecasted report on 30th April also included the statement from DC ensuring action against the erring doctors in the district.
Social activist who had helped NDTV to initiate such action informed NSMC that the district authorities of Jhansi have not taken any action against the doctor shown indulging in the criminal act of sex selection. NSMC member along with CMO inspected the clinic Vardaman where this doctor was shown indulging in the criminal act. When doctor was questioned about the telecasted episode it out rightly denied it. CMO also checked Form Fs and other records of the clinic.
Though doctor was able to show this year records but last years records were not available. Records were sealed by the CMO and on spot show panchnama was issued.
Along with CMO, NSMC member also inspected another clinic “Shri Krishan” where the forms F were not signed. Identifying the discrepancies in the records CMO seized the records and made owner to file an affidavit for not using the machine till matter is not resolved.
Presently NSMC is helping the authorities to draft the complaints for filing the cases in the court to file these cases in the court. (Detailed report attached Annexure V)

C. Follow up of the complaints received by the ministry from different sources:
NSMC followed up the different complaints received by the ministry from different sources with the concerned authorities.
i). Delhi follow-up
In the month of May NSMS received information of a complaint against a clinic that was advertising the services of sex selection in Delhi. The complaint was launched by Delhi commission of women to the state appropriate authorities.
Pursuing the complaint social scientist and law enforcement consultants from NSMC made preliminary investigation from the state appropriate authority about the status of the complaint followed by visit to the concerned district appropriate authority south west on 23rd May 06. Scrutinising the information regarding the complaint in the district authority office NSMC found it a clear case of violation of PNDT act which prohibits any advertisement announcing the sex selection by any means. (Detailed report attached Annexure VI)
After NSMC intervention district appropriate authority filed the case and it is in the district court.
ii). Meerut follow-up
PNDT cell in the Ministry received complaints of at least 20 doctors indulging in sex selection from the Meerut district of UP. These complaints were forwarded to National Support and monitoring cell – PNDT (NSMC-PNDT) to take further action. Social Scientist from NSMC visited Meerut district twice to approach District collector for his corporation in the matter of violation of PNDT law in the district. In the complaint it was mentioned that the CMO is not willing to take action against these doctors so it was necessary to take this channel.
In spite of so much of perseverance with the district administration the whole attempt was futile exercise, administration was not ready to take action against any doctor mentioned in the list. (Detailed report attached Annexure VII)

iii). Kanpur follow-up

In Feb. 06 a local NGO of Kanpur helped Hindi daily weekly “Outlook” to take a sting operation against the unethical doctors who are flaunting with PNDT law in the town. Journalist from the weekly accompanied a decoy patient along with another female who guided them to these clinics. In the whole operation except one all the doctors who were consulted offered the facility of sex selection in their clinic. This whole episode was reported by the Hindi Outlook in April issue and civil society members in the town took serious notice of this and did public protest to persuade the district authorities to take action against these criminal doctors. The civil society group who has helped the journalist also send a written complaint against these doctors to the District medical officer. But all this couldn’t perturb the slumber of the authorities and till date no action was taken against these doctors. Social Scientist from NSMC after getting information from Dr Sabu George (social activist) visited Kanpur on 21st September 06 to meet the district authorities. Collecting the facts from the local organisation NSMC member pursued the compliant with the CMO. Copies of the complaint and article of Weekly were submitted to the CMO and also to DM by the NSMC member. NSMC member also tried to visit the clinics mentioned in the article with the authority but all in vain. In spite of the perseverance with the District magistrate the inspection of these clinics could not be arranged by the authorities. Administration seemed to be not interested in the matter and authorities unwilling to act against their fraternity members. (Detailed report attached Annexure VIII)

D. Legal support:
Advocate from NSMC visited state appropriate authority in Ahmadabad for legal support. 7 raids have been made by the Appropriate Authorities at Ahmedabad and Gandhi Nagar and the private doctors had approached in Civil Writ Petitions before the Hon’ble High Court. It was also told that the Hon’ble Judge was unhappy to the extent that he told to the Appropriate Authorities that he is going to put them behind the bars, since they have not followed the procedural law and also they have no authority to seal the ultra sound machines. After the perusal of the documents it was observed that there was lack of proper documentation by the Appropriate Authorities. Neither show cause notice was issued nor was the Panch- Nama prepared in the presence of the two independent witnesses. The Advocate who appeared for the Appropriate Authorities was not aware even about the amendment of the Act where in the sealing of machine has been included in the objectionable material. It was also not told to the court that the Petitioners/Accused have not come with clean hands and there was concealment of the facts since there is a provision for the appeal under the Act itself and even they had filed the appeals before the State Appropriate Authority which were still pending on the relevant day, ‘therefore’ they have approached to the court without exhausting the available remedies. In brief it can be said there was total lack of information pertaining to the Act at all the quarters.
The Authorities were not even aware that they are to file the private complaints as well. However now they have assured that they are going to file the private complaints shortly. They have also engaged a private lawyer to defend them. A detailed discussion was held with the lawyer so that no confusion is left.
Interestingly, the senior lawyer admitted that 10 days before he was not aware even that such kind of Act exists and now he knows each and every section. It is felt strongly that if a lawyer within 2-3 days can become so clear about the law, why our Appropriate Authorities after so many trainings are not clear. NSMC is also providing legal support to appropriate authorities on call. Advocate has been continuously giving legal advice to the authorities in Punjab and Haryana.
E. Follow up of cases in the courts NSMC are also following up the proceeding of the cases in the court.
1. Punjab Case
Advocate from NSMC followed a case in Nawan Shahar in a sting operation conducted through decoy patient against Sood Clinic, Banga, which was found indulging in the criminal act of sex selection. A complaint was filed by the authorities and both the accused i.e. Doctor as well as the broker who happened to be a lady were in custody. The statement of the pregnant lady was also recorded before the Magistrate.
Dr. Bains who has had been dealing the case informed NSMC advocate that the case has been fixed for bail before the Additional Sessions Judge, Nawan Shahar and he has all reasonable apprehensions that the distt. Attorney may not put-up the case / oppose the bail properly. NSMC advocate made her self available on in the distt. Court at Nawan Shahar on behalf of the Appropriate Authority. After reaching to Nawan Shahar NSMC advocate was taken aback as the case had already been argued on the previous day and on that day the case was pending for the orders.
The total approach of the District Attorney was very casual and apparently it could be seen that he was not cooperative to the Appropriate Authority. However, a request was made to the judge personally and he gave time for the further hearing. But since the maximum conviction for the first offence under the Act is of 3 years, the bail was granted to the accused i.e. the private doctor.
During this time it was also found that the Appropriate Authority was not clear that under the Act, no FIR could stand and the private complaint is to be filed by him before the court of CJM. They were just getting prepared the challan and only due to the want of the copy of the statement of the decoy patient recorded before the Magistrate, the challan was pending. Neither the Judge nor the District Attorney or the counsel appearing for the accused doctor was aware about the filing of the private complaint.
After the discussion a copy of the format of the complaint was supplied to the person authorized by the Appropriate Authority, i.e. Dr. Bains. Dr. Bains again called over phone stating that almost the complaint is ready and also has been shown to the Advocate, identified by the NSMC advocate, and Dr. Bains jointly at Nawan Shahar.

2. Delhi Case
In Feb Samachar Awaz supported by some social activist’s executed a sting operation in which Dr Kohli of Kohli Diagnostic Clinic was caught performing sex section on camera. After the whole episode was telecasted on 17th Feb 06 . district authorities took the cognisance sealed the machine and filed a case in the district court. Unfortunately Dr Kholi who has been found caught indulging in the criminal act has got his machine back on Supardari after paying 16 lakhs rupees and he has resumed the use of the same.
Social scientist from NSMC following this case attended the hearing of the case on 7th September 06 when the anticipatory bail of the accused was heard by the honourable judge . The court accepted the application without any argument. The public prosecutor seemed to be least interested in the case and didn’t argue the case well. Next hearing to the case has been given on 15th Nov 06 by the court. It is felt that Judiciary needs to be sensitised for better appreciation of the problem to increase the conviction rate.

F. Linkage building and Liaison with different agencies:
Linkage with civil societies
Last year an initiative was taken with a network PAWAN to take up the issue of sex selection in Jounpur. To revive and stimulate that initiative afresh and to mobilise civil society in Jaunpur for activating local PNDT machinery, Social Scientist visited Jaunpur (UP) on 11thSeptember 06 to facilitate a strategy meeting of a local NGO Azad Shiksha Kendra under the leader ship of Loktantra Bachao Abiyan. Social Scientist attended the meeting on an invitation from chairman, Azad Shiksha Kendra Mr Nisar Ahmad. Many Strategies including monitoring of records of US clinics on regular basis, mapping of US machines in the region and even decoy operations were discussed at length. The group was oriented on the provisions of law under PNDT Act and role of PNDT authority in the district to curb the menace of sex selection. The group will take some time to plan their strategies in the region according to their available resources.
Liaison with police authorities
Independent interaction with state police authorities – by Consultant (Law Enforcement) through the IndiaTopCop network, TOI article – “15 female foetuses recovered from Punjab Doc’s well”, was circulated through IndiaTopCop to all DIGs/CID and all District SPs across the country to sensitise and motivate DCs into action needed. Also circulated an appeal letter to IndiaTopCop fraternity in the matter, and also to all health authorities across the country
The vast outreach and vibrant discussion, and the “opinion building for action” potential on the platform of the IndiaTopCop fraternity in internet’s Yahoo Groups on cyber space has been tapped by Consultant (Law Enforcement) for
positive and impacting advocacy in illegal selection matters; …with a view to expose and disseminate a realistic picture of the state of affairs in the country concerning the adversely declining female to 1000 male sex ratio, to spread the message of its adverse impact and consequences on the community, to keep the issue alive in immensely effective action platforms and levels, and to motivate those responsible not to fail in their duty to enforce PNDT laws in an effort to eradicate the menace of illegal sex selection for female foeticide. Examples of resultant interest, involvement etc – action and response, though gradual, slow, but surely forthcoming… as result of the advocacy attempted with the police management across the country… (The interest exhibited by Keshav Kumar DIG/ CID in Gujarat, with the promise of proactive interest in enforcement of PNDT laws in his state is a case in point. Discussions on Aug with Sagarpreet Hooda, the Addl DCP West Delhi – who conceived and implemented for Delhi Police, Project Parivartan, a project for Women’s Safety. NSMC consultants discussed inclusion of PNDT matters and female foeticide, as part of women’s safety issues – and explored where collaborative venture is possible.
Enlisting help of Income Tax authorities and National Informatics Centre: A Meeting sought was arranged through personal efforts of Consultant- Law Enforcement with Director General Investigations of the Income-tax department– to press on the effort at getting the income tax authorities involved proactively to nail rogue doctors who indulge in illegal sex selection and hide their huge earnings through ultrasound machines from their Income tax Returns.
Consultant– Social scientist also accompanied Consultant- Law Enforcement to the Income tax authorities. Efforts to continue.. (Minutes attached Anexure IX) Consultant- Law Enforcement interacted with DG/NIC Dr N Vijayaditya & Dr Mahesh Chandra of the National Informatics Centre to evolve a “direct to group” means of communication simultaneously to the 570 odd DCs in the country at the same time. Negotiations are still in process

G. Media advocacy
1. Information dissemination:
With the assistance of UNFPA, keeping abreast with all PNDT/ sex selection related information by monitoring all news clippings on the subject and disseminating them for information/ reaction and response to Health authorities in the States and Union Territories. Efforts made with the Ministry to update the email addresses of related Health authorities in the country, yet to succeed. Article in the Hindustan Times by Consultant (Law Enforcement) on status of enforcement of PNDT laws in Delhi
2. Participation and sensitisation
a. Seminar at the HIPA
Consultant- Law Enforcement Participated in a high level “Security Scenario in Gurgaon” seminar (29 June 06) at the HIPA (Haryana Institute of Public Administration) chaired by former Chief Secretary/ Haryana. Among other things also speaking on and discussing the impact on sex related crimes and other crimes against women consequent to the practise of sex selection for exterminating the female foetuses and the girl child – further discussion and follow up with DC-Gurgaon on the subject.
b. Panel discussion at FICCI:
Consultant Law Enforcement was keynote speaker at Panel discussion on Female Foeticide on Aug 1: held under the auspices of the FICCI Ladies’ Organisation at Federation House, Tansen Marg, ND-1. Other speakers included: Justice Leela
Seth (former CJ Himachal Pradesh), Supreme Court advocate Seita Vaidyalingam, National Chairman FLO: Mukhta Nandini Jain, Chairperson NCW – Girija Vyas, Dr Veena Bali-gynaecologist & Dr Doda from the medical fraternity, as also Dr Ved Kumari-Professor of Law from Delhi University.
c. Panel discussion on Doordarshan

Participation of Consultant Law Enforcement as a prominent thrust panellist in a discussion on female foeticide arranged through personal advocacy – telecast on national TV channel Doordarshan on 16 July 06. Also present in the participating Group on camera was NSMC’s Consultant–Legal, Veena Singh, who could also
contribute effectively.
d. Media workshop at Lucknow
Consultant Law Enforcement was resource person at the media sensitisation workshop on “women and law” organised by UNFPA.

Annexure I
National Support and Monitoring Cell – PNDT

Evaluation report

Date of visit : 30 June 2006
State : Delhi
Office : Directorate of Family Welfare/ Delhi Govt.

STATUS OF PNDT CASES OF DELHI

Consultants Law Enforcement and Social Scientist of the NSMC-PNDT visited the Directorate of Family Welfare/ Delhi Government on June 30, 2006. Among other things, it was attempted to get a clear picture of the prosecutions supposedly launched under the PNDT laws by the Appropriate Authorities, both at the Sate level and at the District level.

Dr AK Mittal, CMO PNDT/MTP Delhi Government attempted to account for the figure of the PNDT complaints in which action has been taken, as furnished to the Health Ministry in earlier communications. Before our visit to the Dir/FW we were under the impression that Delhi Govt has to its credit about 81 complaints in which action has been taken.

During our interaction with Dr Mittal, it was found that there was no consolidated list of the 81 complaints/ prosecutions supposedly launched by the State Authorities.

To get some clarity on the issue, we went through a major exercise of discussion/ interaction/ and scrutiny of files/records presented to us. The below recorded observations/ conclusions arrived at on the basis of information furnished by Dr
Mittal are pertinent:

1. Following a Supreme Court directive in 2001 apparently there was a drive to visit and inspect en-masse the various ultrasound clinics/ facilities in Delhi. As per lose notes available in the department files, 85 clinics were 20 raided/ visited. 35 of these facilities were then found unregistered and operating illegally.
2. Complaints for launching prosecutions against these 35 unregistered clinics are supposed to have been prepared. Mention in file notes is also there that these were sent to court. However neither there is record of such prosecutions launched, nor details of actual court case numbers given to the cases if any launched.
3. According to Dr Mittal, after great personal effort he has been able to find mention in the official records of only 3 of the 35 (prosecutions allegedly launched) – they being (i) Dr PD Gupta, (ii) India Abroad and (iii) Dham Diagnostics Centre. Apparently some communications have been received by the department from the court periodically in these 3 cases, nut neither details nor the status of the cases is known.
4. From the last three conclusion points, it is seen that of the 85 visits leading to the supposed 35 prosecutions, nothing is known in respect of 32 cases – whether or not they have actually been sent to court or not. And if sent, the reasons for not receiving any communication from the court with regard to the proceedings is also not known. In the remaining 3 cases too, the status of court proceedings is not known.
5. Further inspection reveals that after the Amendment to the PNDT Act in 2003, there are 46 more complaints in which the State Authorities are supposed to have initiated action. However, a list of even these 46 cases is not available in the Directorate. Dr Mittal has given us to understand that they are in the process of compiling this list.
6. According to information available, of the 46 complaints after 2003, two have so far been settled by the State Appropriate Authority itself – i) in the complaint against Dr Bhandari his clinic registration has been cancelled; and ii) in the complaint against Sigma Diagnostics Centre, by imposing a fine of Rs.15,000/- only.
In 19 others, complaints have been filed in court. While 11 of these are currently active, the position in the remaining 8 is stated to be withdrawn from High Court, 3 withdrawn from lower court, and three others dismissed by the court. In effect, all 8 cases have resulted with no positive result.
No information is available regarding any action taken in 25 other cases out of the total 46 total complaints. Statedly these are only shown as ‘pending’.
From the above, it may be seen that there is  authorised neither transparency nor clarity in the functioning of the officials/ Authorities under the PNDT Act. What is more distressing is the fact of wrong-reporting that has been going on. There is no accountability nor any will to enforce the national laws at any level. The State is totally complacent on the issue, since there is no monitoring of actions prescribed in the Act, and total irresponsible reporting in flagrant violation of norms, rules and regulations. That the reports furnished by the State Government form the basis for facts being placed before the Parliament is also a matter that cannot be ignored.

(Ifat Hamid) (Maxwell Pereira)
Consultant – Social Scientist Consultant – Law Enforcement

DETAILS OF 81 COMPLAINTS IN DELHI

Complaints filed before 2003

Total complaints 35
Cases filed in court: 32
Complaints pending 3

Details of Cases filed in Court
Records Available 3
Missing Cases 29

Compliants filed from 2003- July 2006

Total complaints: 46
No. of complaints settled by SAA: 2
Cases filled in court: 19
Complaints pending with SAA 25

Details of 19 cases filed in the court

1. Active cases:
Filled by SAA 5
Filled by DAA 6
Total 11

2. Cases withdrawn from high court: 2

3. Cases withdrawn from lower court: 3

4. Cases dismissed: 3

Dismissed cases
1. Times of India case,
2. Danik Jagran case
3. Minyal Clinic cases

Cases filed at state level by (SAA):
1. Reliance Infocom,
2. Life Positive, 22
3. Hakim Arjuan Singh Uppal,
4. Creative Publications
5. Mrs Gupta

Cases filed at district level by (DAA)
South (2): PDS Kohili & Lok Priya Nursing Home
North: Roopnagar Hospital
North West: Amrit Clinic
North East: Dr Ajay Lekhi
South West: Gobhanian Nursing Home

Annexure II

National Support and Monitoring Cell – PNDT Evaluation report

Date of visit : 11th August 2006
State : J & K
Office : Secretariat & Directorate of Health and Medical Education

To address the concerns of sex selection leading to decline in chills sex ratio in some regions of J&K state, social activities felt need to implement PNDT law and after lot of advocacy with the State government, PNDT law was adopted by state assembly in April 2002. Being a political disturbed area in spite of regular advocacy by the civil society members Act couldn’t be followed by rules and regulation that are crucial for the implementation of any law. Social scientist visited Srinagar, J&K to evaluate the status of implementation of PC& PNDT Act and other related aspects in the state.

Activities:
1. Met Additional Secretary, Health and Medical Education (HME) to get an update on the status of notification of rules under PC & PNDT Act
2. Met Director, HME to find out the process directorate has adopted to register the Ultrasound clinics in the state.
3. Met Secretary Housing and Municipal Co operations Commissioners Jammu/ Kashmir divisions to get the information about Birth Registration in the State
4. Met Director Economics & Statistics to know about the Civil Registration System in J &K

Observations
• The PC & PNDT Act has been adopted by the state of J&K in April 2002 much earlier than the Central Act got passed but still the rules have not been notified by the state. According to official reports the rules were earlier approved by CM in 2004 but due to objection from the law department it was sent for wetted to the law departments. Law department long back has send the rules back but it not clear why the department of HME is sitting on it and not sending it for approval to the CM. Departments has notified state appropriate authorities and advisory committees but it has not been updated as many members have been either transferred or retired.

• On the ground level the directorate is claiming that they are registering the US clinics in the state but those registrations stand no legality as they are registered under Medical Establishment Act 1963. The department of HME have published the norms for registrations of different medical establishments including ultrasound clinics. But the setback with this process of registration is that if some body misuses the ultrasound machine no legal case can be filed against that.
This whole initiative seems to be an eye washing to avoid proper implementation of the Act in the state. In the whole Kashmir division they have registered just 83 ultrasound clinics while as actual number can be many folds. Only Srinagar district have more than hundred ultrasound machines.

• Civil Birth registration system seems to be quite okay in the state. According to Department Of Economics And Statistic, J&K have 63% of birth registration. The statistics of birth registrations is showing continuous decline in female birth registrations particularly in the Jammu division. Though the difference seems to be not too wide but increase in no of ultrasound clinics in the state in the past years is a clear indication that this practice is picking up in the state.

Suggestions

• Ministry should release funds related to health programme like RCH-II, NRHM only on when the state of J&K will notify the rule under PCPNDT Act
• There is need of close vigil on the operational part of the implementation once the rules are notified by the since there seems to be no communication between the Secretariat and Directorate regarding the operational part on the ground.
• The directives from the Centre to the state should be time bound so that the necessary action can be speed up.

Ifat Hamid
Social scientist NSMC-PNDT 25
Annexure III
National Support and Monitoring Cell – PNDT

Visit Report

Date : 19th July 06
State : Rajasthan
District : Jaipur

Advocate and Social scientist visited Jaipur on request made by the state appropriate authority. State appropriate authority needed clarification on several issues relating to the filling of cases and other legal aspects. At least ten points were discussed in the meeting with state appropriate authorities. NSMC members also met health secretary and shared the suggestions made by NSMC to the state appropriate authority.
Since Dr. Yadav the State Appropriate Authority, Rajasthan had made a request to Dr. Ratan Chand, the National Director PC & PNDT, New Delhi to provide Legal Assistance in the cases connected with the sting operations conducted by the SAHARA TV. The undersigned alongwith her colleague Ms. Iffat started on July 18th since the meeting was fixed on 19th at 10.00 a.m. the first meeting was held with the State Appropriate Authority and a few other district Appropriate Authorities and there had been a detailed discussion on various points pertaining to the Act as well as to the specific cases pertaining to the sting operations.

It was found that till that date no complaint was filed before the court of law and in the 21 sting operations at the first instance, only the FIRs were registered. The authorities were not aware about the filing of the private complaints. In the second meeting where in Ms. Shubra Singh, Secretary Health was also present, it was assured by the authorities that as required under the Act, in all the sting operations i.e. 65 the separate private complaints would be filed by the concerned AA in their respective areas by the end of July. The minutes of the meeting on July 19th are still awaited, though the same was prepared got signed by both of the representatives at railway station itself. The minutes would be forwarded immediately after receipt of the same.
We are in touch with the Authorities but they have been unable to keep the promise and the cases have not been filed yet on the ground that they are still collecting the requisite evidence. We would be in touch till the logical end is achieved.

Activities:
Meeting with Health secretary
Meeting with state appropriate authorities
Joint meeting with Health Secretary and Director Health

Suggestions made by the NSMC members
Cases should be filed against all the 62 doctors found indulging in sex selection and female foeticide in the sting operations
• The authorities should coordinate with the CID to procure the documents Sealed by the CID from the clinics as those will be important for evidential purpose while file the cases.
• Authorities should compile a detailed report on the action taken by the CID on the 21 clinics shown in the first phase of telecast by the Sahara samay.
• The cases should be filed by the concerned district authorities and district wise list should be send to the Director PNDT and mark a copy to NSMC so that these cases can be monitored and followed up

Achievements

All the suggestions were acknowledged and approved by the health secretary

Update
Districts has been given directions to file cases in their respective district but details are not yet provided by the state authorities

Veena Kumari                          Ifat Hamid
Advocate NSMC-PNDT         Social scientist NSMC-PNDT

Annexure IV
National Support and Monitoring Cell – PNDT

Visit Report

Date of visit : 7th August
State : Madya Pradesh
District : Gwalior

In a drive to expose the unethical doctors indulging in the criminal practice of sex selection Sahara Samay did a series of string operation in the different parts of the country. In a report telecasted on 8th April 06 two doctors where caught on camera indulging in this criminal act and two more names of doctors where mentioned in the telecasted report from Gwalior. Dr Gouri Gokle and Dr Sangeeta Malhotra both Gynaecologist where caught indulging in pre-birth elimination of female child even when Dr Sangeeta Malhotra did not had registration for MTP, after the decoy patient informed them that she is carrying a female child. Besides two more doctors where mentioned in the sting operation: Dr Surekha Sapra and Dr Gopi Shivasi. Ifat Hamid. Social scientist NSMC-PNDT visited Gwalior district of MP to find out what action district authority has taken against the doctors shown indulging in sex selection in sting operation. To ensure the local support NSMC member took help of a local social activist/ advocate Ms Asha Singh who have been working consistently on this issue in Mureina district of MP.
In a strategy to mobilise District collector to take an active role in the implementation of the PNDT law NSMC member along with Asha Singh met district collector. NSMC member briefed DC about the violation of PNDT law in the district and mentioned about the Doctors caught indulging in the act in sting operation, telecast clip of which was also submitted. To muster DM’s corporation and to be more persuasive NSMC member along with the accompanied activist, cited examples of various DM who have been successful and have really contributed to combat this problem in their district. Admitting the fact that this problem needs attention in the district DM was ignorant of the particular sting operation. To get further information on the action taken by district authorities in this particular case, DM directed NSMC to meet CMHO. CMO not convinced by the identity shown by the NSMC member felt that media people have come to get information. To rule out the doubt CMO find out from Dr Rattan Chand, Director PNDT-MOH&FW, Govt. of India and asked for a written letter in this connection that was immediately faxed. It was only after all these assurances CMO agreed to talk to NSMC member.
CMO who have joined recently and claim to be unaware of the exact facts in the matter and also the person who maintains records under PNDT in CMO office was on leave and all the documents were locked. Somehow Deputed CMO managed to get the copies of show cause notices issued to the clinics and the response there off from the clinics. Copies attached) but no record where available about what was the course of action after the reply from these clinics were received
Responding to the quires of NSMC member about the action taken by the authorities against the doctors shown violating the PNDT act CMO shared that they have sealed the clinics after that telecast but due to unavailable of video clip they couldn’t file a case. She herself being out of station didn’t have any update on the follow up action taken in her absence.
Submitting the copy of the particular telecast NSMC-member tried to persuade CMO to file the cases in the courts against the specified doctors. To get an idea of the ground facts NSMC member accompanied Authorities inspection team along with deputy CMO as CMO due to prior engagements couldn’t accompany the inspection team. Inspection team visited Dr Gouri Gokle and Dr Sangeeta Malhotra Clinics besides two other clinics of Dr Surekha Sapra and Dr Gopi Shivasi mentioned in the sting operation. Clinics of Both Dr Gouri Gokle’s and Dr Sangeeta Malhotra were found operating normally. According to these doctors their clinics were sealed by the authorities, which after some days were de-sealed after seizing their records. Clinic of Dr Sangeeta Malhotra is not registered even for MTP and she has started the registration process only after this episodes. Deputy CMO accompanying the inspection team showed ignorance about the de-sealing of the clinics.
Visiting the clinic of Dr Surekha Sapra the only female radiologist in the town inspection couldn’t find any evidence. The team checked the form F and could not find any discrepancy. Enquiring about the sting operation she shared that one lady had come for sex selection but her denied annoyed that women and she took a fight with her. Team also visited Mamta Hospital and met Dr Gopi Shivasi, who is a child specialist but couldn’t find any Ultrasound machine in the hospital. Team visited other clinics and checked records but no inconsistencies were found.

NSMC member again met CMO in the evening and made available the copy of CD of sting operation and informed that both the clinics have resumed their functioning, which shouldn’t have, been the case. CMO after watching the CD gave a written assurance (copy attached) that she will take the action against the clinics and file cases against them.
Latter on NSMC-member met District Collector along with the CMO and shared the status on the action taken by the district authority in the specified case of sting operation. DC assured that authorities will take necessary action in this case.
Observing that the radiologists in Gwalior are maintaining records properly at least on paper NSMC member suggested that there is need to verify this information recorded on form Fs to identify erring doctors in the district. Both the DC and CMO accredited this suggestion and CMO ensure that she will take necessary initiative to verify the records recorded by the radiologist on form Fs.

Ifat Hamid
Social Scientist –NSMC-PNDT

Annexure V
National Support and Monitoring Cell – PNDT

Visit Report
Date of visit : 31st August 06
State : Uttar Pradesh
District : JHANSI

NDTV in April with the support of some social activist probed into the unethical practices of sex selection in the district of Jhansi. While going around especially around Jhansi medical college NDTV team accompanied with a decoy patient was stunned to find that the ultrasound clinics are thriving on the criminal practice of sex selection. NDTV telecasted recording of this sting operation on 30th April 06 at 9:30 pm in which one doctor from Vardhman ultrasound clinic was shown indulging in sex selection on camera. After this experience NDTV team met District collector in this regard and got his reaction on this criminal practice in the district. The telecasted report on 30th April also included the statement from DC ensuring action against the erring doctors in the district.
In July social scientist from NSMC Social activist who had helped NDTV to initiate such action informed NSMC that the district authorities of Jhansi have not taken any action against the doctor shown indulging in the criminal act of sex selection. In the month of July social scientist from NSMC visited Jhansi to facilitate action against the erring doctor by the District authorities. NSMC member met the Jhansi collector in the first instant as he had ensured appropriate action in the case on TV. To the surprise of NSMC District Collector showed ignorance about any sting operation carried in the district of Jhansi. When asked about his on air assurance given to NDTV District Collector said that he has not got any information about the sting operation after his meeting with NDTV. And he further added it was his response to media when his take was asked on the violation of PNDT law in the district. According to District collector this law was not his realm for further details on the action taken or not taken in this case, NSMC member was directed to meet CMHO. CMHO clam to be ignorant about this particular sting operation in their district, updated the NSMC member about the activities DAA has taken in recent times. NSMC member briefed about the details of sting operations and persuaded to take necessary action on the doctor who has been shown in the sting operation. NMSC member submitted the copy of the video clip of the telecast to facilitate the process of filing a complaint against the doctor. NMSC member with the support of CMHO inspected the said clinic besides many others after a personal request from Dr Rattan Chand Director PNDT, MOHFW to CMHO on phone.
CMHO mobilised a team of five people, CMHO himself, his two deputy CMOs, the person in-charge of PNDT documentation and PA for sealing and on spot panchnama notice. The team first went to Vardhaman clinic where we asked for the Form F and other records for the period of Jan 2005 –June 2006. But the clinic was unable to present records of last years (Jan 2005- Dec 2006) and only the records from Jan 2006-June were shown. Records being incomplete the available records were seized by the authorities. Though Doctor asked one week time to furnish the said documents but this request was not accepted realising that one week is ample time to manipulate the records. CMHO also informed the Doctor that he has been shown indulging in the illegal practice of sex selection in a sting operation done by NDTV telecasted on 30th April 05 and authorities are taking necessary action.
Then the whole team also went to another clinic “Shri Krishna” near Jhansi medical college. The clinic is a huge setup with X-Ray lab, a pathological lab and a ultrasound lab with four visiting doctors. The owner is a non medico who uses to be a “pokode walla” earlier at that place but with time owned this place and now turned it into a huge medical setup with a medicine shop out side. The team went straight to its ultrasound lab and asked for the form Fs and other records like
record registers etc. the form F made available to the team were incomplete not only in terms of information recorded about the patients but also there was no signature of the performing doctors on the forms. Raising this concern, team called for the radiologist who has been hired to operate the ultrasound machine for the clinic. But to the surprise of every body the radiologist just denied performance of any pregnancy scan by him at the clinic and according to him he comes very rarely ad only on call to this clinic. Team tried to know about the dates the radiologist has visited the clinic so that they can check records of those particular dates but the doctor was unable to give any. For the evidential purpose a written statement was recorded from the doctor by CMHO.
The owner was also questioned about these discrepancies by the CMHO. Owner defending himself said that his radiologist has deceived him and the specified doctor is the only visiting radiologist registered with the clinic. Owners written statements were also recorded and all the available records of the Ultrasound lab were seized. An on spot Panchnama was issued to the clinic. Ultrasound machine which need to be sealed under such circumstance couldn’t be sealed. When CMHO attempt to seal the machine younger brother of the owner’s sprayed kerosene oil over himself and threaten to self immolate. himself if the machine is sealed. Under these circumstances it was difficult to seal the machine but an affidavit was taken from the owner stating that he won’t use the machine till CMHO order it and machine will be under strict observation of the authority till necessary action is processed in this case.
NSMC is follow up with the Authorities and facilitating them in filing the cases against these clinics. Drafts of complaints are in process and are expected to be sending soon to the authorities for further operations.

Ifat Hamid
Social Scientist –NSMC-PNDT

Annexure VI

National Support and Monitoring Cell – PNDT
Date of visit : 23 May 2006
District : South West, New Delhi

VISIT TO SOUTH WEST DISTRICT IN THE CONTEXT OF COMPLAINT AGAINST GOBBHANIA NIROG DHAM HOSPITAL

The Gobbhania Nirog Dham Hospital in Najafgarh had advertised in a pamphlet the promise of a boy baby to expectant mothers. This information was reported by the Resident Welfare Association of Najafgarh to the Delhi Commission for Women in a written complaint on Feb 3, 2006, enclosing a copy of the said pamphlet.

The Chairperson of DCW, Prof. Kiran Walia, in turn forwarded this complaint to the concerned Chairperson, State PNDT authority – Dr Avinash Kaur Mehta, Director H&FW NCT of Delhi on 14th Feb. 2006 for further action. Through its communication dated 24th Feb. 2006, the state PNDT authority directed the south west district PNDT “appropriate authority” to investigate the matter for necessary follow up and action warranted.

The DAA-South West District, Delhi carried out an inspection of the clinic on April 13, 2006 – and issued a show cause notice on the spot to the hospital, also directing that certain related documents be produced. (Details of the observations recorded by the inspecting team on the spot, and the list of documents demanded are attached at annexure-A).

Responding to the show cause notice, Dr Shiv Raj Choudhary – the owner and in-charge of the hospital sent the documents asked for. Not satisfied with the response and reply, the DAA issued a second show cause notice on 26thApril. This was responded to on 15th of May 2006 by Dr Shiv Raj Choudhury with a clarification (Copy attached at annexure-B). Even this clarification being not satisfactory, the DAA is in the process of giving a third notice once again.
Analysing the case, it seen that the complaint clearly points out a violation under section 22 of the PCPNDT law committed by Gobbhania Nirog Dham Hospital of which Dr Shiv Raj Singh is the owner and doctor in charge. The latter half of the same advertisement/pamphlet also mentions the actual facility of ultrasound as available in their Gobhania X-Ray Lab.
Making it explicitly clear that the facility of ultrasound is for sex selection. In the circumstances, the violation is jointly and severally by both the supposed separate entities.
It is heartening to note that the CDMO/ South West District, Dr Hazarika, did act on the complaint, albeit a bit late, since it took the DAA more than a month and a half to visit the offending hospital/clinic/X-ray Lab for action on the complaint. So far the action has not gone beyond issuing a show cause notice repeatedly – while it is seen that there is no provision in the PNDT law to issue any notice. The powers specified are only to summon the violator or connected person/s for information or clarification. It is not clear why the DAA has resorted to a process for issuing show cause notices repeatedly, as during our interation it is learnt that a third notice is now contemplated. It would appear that the only purpose for repeated notices is perhaps to procrastinate and delay action in the matter. It is seen that the complaint itself has enough substance and required evidence to substantiate the violation and launch prosecution in a court of law per requirements of the PNDT law.

The National Support and Monitoring Cell visiting the district has recommended to the “District Appropriate Authority” to file a case against the doctor concerned without further procrastination. Prosecution is attracted by the Hospital for advertising the facility of sex-selection; and by the X-ray Lab in whose name the ultrasound machine is registered, for being available to the Hospital for sex selection purposes by intent. The district authority however has appeared reluctant to do so, voicing claimed practical difficulties he (the CDMO) would encounter. The DAA shared his limitation in terms of adequate knowledge for drafting the charge-sheet without proper legal assistance – which according to him is not forthcoming in the long drawn-out procedure involved in the state machinery. According to Dr Hazarika, the DAA, the lawyer in the district PNDT Advisory committee is not available (has never turned up) for Committee meetings, also mentioning that this concern has already been shared by him with the State PNDT Authority. Reportedly, the state authority has not responded positively, nor with any action against the concerned legal help – nor any steps taken to change/ replace the designated legal assistance. Finally the DAA has expressed that the prerogative of taking action lies solely with him, and he would not really act on the recommendation or otherwise from any other quarters. Even so, the NSMC have extended to him the promise of full technical support in vetting the draft charge-sheet to meet the requirements for a successful prosecution in court.

In the circumstances, the NSMC would like to make the following observations and recommendations in the case:
• Immediate cancellation of the registration of the Gobhania X-Ray Lab and seizure of the ultrasound machine for illegal use in violation of the PNDT Act.
• In our opinion there is a clear cut violation of law here, and there is enough evidence to file a case against the doctor concerned under the PCPNDT law. The printing of the pamphlet and the specific mention therein promising a boy child is considered sufficient evidence against the beneficiary of the advertisement – in this case the doctor concerned and the Lab attached to his hospital (though totally masked under the guise of a separate entity, registered under his own employee).
• Even so, there is need for corroborative evidence that the proceeds of the Lab business do go to Dr Shivraj Choudhary. As supportive evidence, there is also need to link the advertisement/pamphlet unambiguously to the violator by gathering evidence from the printer that the printing charges were paid by the violator.
• Section 17(a) of the Act does not mention any procedure or prerequisite for issuing a show cause notice to the violator. The Act only empowers the DAA to summon the offender or any person having information regarding the violation.
• The advisory committees are dysfunctional needing intervention on the part of the state appropriate authority to make them functional. This advisory committee is a supportive mechanism for the DAA to ensure proper implementation of the law.
• The DAA should have investigated to adduce further corroborative and supportive evidence to enable a foolproof and a successful prosecution; rather than merely resorting to the futile exercise of issuing show cause notices.
• The DAA needs to be more proactive and should not work for the convenience of the violator. Complaints at the district level need to be handled for quick and effective action according the PCPNDT law.
• It may be pertinent also to mention here the information which emerged during our interactions that the violator in this case enjoys ample political support – which fact, perhaps, is also inhibiting the concerned authorities from acting appropriately.

(Ifat Hamid)                                                             (Maxwell Pereira)
UNFPA Consultant- Social Scientist              UNFPA Consultant – Police

Annexure VII
National Support and Monitoring Cell – PNDT

Visit Report
Date : 24th June & 4th July 2006
State : Uttar Pradesh
District : Meerut

MEERUT VISIT IN THE CONTEXT OF FOLLOW UP OF THE PNDT COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY THE H&FW MINISTRY
PNDT cell in the Ministry received complaints of at least 20 doctors indulging in sex selection from the Meerut district of UP. These complaints were forwarded to National Support and monitoring cell – PNDT (NSMC-PNDT) to take further action.
According to the complaints received by the NSMC-PNDT the sex selection in the Meerut district is rampant and doctors are doing average 20 sex selection test on daily basis. And the worst part is that in this criminal act the District Medical Administration, supposed to check the misuse of Pre-conception and Pre-natal diagnostic test by implementing PCPNDT Act, are supporting these erring doctors. Under these circumstances it was not advisable to expect support from the District Medical Administration in taking action against the doctors specified by the complainant Social scientist -NSMC took the initiative to follow up Meerut complaints and initially tried to mobilise support of some local civil society groups that could cooperate in the matter but unfortunately there were no support from the local groups.
In a pursuit to get the cooperation from District Collector, Social Scientist was able to get an appointment On 24th June 06 with Mr Mukesh Mishra District Collector, Meerut. The complaints received by H&FW Ministry against some doctors who are violating PNDT act in their district was shared and support of district administration was asked on urgent basis as District Chief Medical Officer who is authorised under PNDT Act is not cooperating in the matter. Though the District Collector showed helpless to act because of the polio day on the following day but assured that district administration will give their support and take necessary action in the following week. And also deputed Additional Collector, Civil Lines –Meerut Mr Surender Kumar for this task and directed Social Scientist to coordinate in this regard with him.
Social scientist latter met Additional Collector and asked for support from district Administration in carrying out raids and inspection of the erring clinics in the district.
Additional Collector proposed the date of 4th of July for the requisite action. On 4tH July Social Scientist went to Meerut but nothing positive came out of the visit. Even though Additional Collector was keen to take the action but District Collector was not interested in taking any action against the erring doctor who according to him have affiliations with ruling party. He was also concerned about the political scenario of the state and said that he cannot afford to annoy the ruling party when UP is going for polls next year and any action will result in breaking of violence in the district. He further added that in this regard he has not received any guidelines from state authorities so he is unable to act. In spite of the reluctance showed by the DC the Additional Collector tried to mobilise District Chief Medical Officer to accompany the raids and inspection of the erring clinic as his presence in the team was crucial to make seizures. DCDMO showed his own incapability to carry raids and inspections as inspection team formed by the CDMO is defunct and district authority is in process of formulating another. Additional collector was also invited by CDMO to be part of this inspection team.
The whole experience has been disheartening even district administration is feeling helpless as any common man of Meerut can feel. Administration is not concerned about their duties but is more worried about their equations with politicians.
NSMC member was made to visit Meerut in second time in vain. DC could have shared his insecurities and impediments in the first visit itself so that resources spent on the second visits could have been saved.
NSMS is going to continue such visits to different states to access the situation in each state, northern state in first phase.
Ifat Hamid
Social scientist NSMC-PNDT

Annexure VIII
National Support and Monitoring Cell – PNDT
Visit Report
Date of visit : 21st& 22nd September 2006
State : Uttar Pradesh
District : Kanpur

In Feb. 06 a local NGO of Kanpur helped Hindi daily weekly “Outlook” to take a sting operation against the unethical doctors who are flaunting with PNDT law in the town. This whole episode was reported by the Hindi Outlook in April issue and civil society members in the town took serious notice of this and did public protest to persuade the district authorities to take action against these criminal doctors. But district authorities did not take any action. NSMC got the information about this divergence on the part of district authorities and to get first hand information of the situation Social scientist visited Kanpur district of UP. Collecting the facts from the local organisation NSMC member pursued the compliant with the CMO. Copies of the complaint and article of Weekly were submitted to the CMO and also to DM by the NSMC member.

Activities:
1. Visited, Sakhi Kendra to get the details of the sting operation.
2. Met CMO Kanpur for following up on action taken by the AA against the sting operation published by the Hindi out look weekly
3. Met Division commissioner to ask for his support in case of law and order situation
4. Accompanied deputy CMO to inspected two suspicious clinics

Update on situation
a. Sakhi Kendra helped the decoy operation done by outlook magazine. The Sakhi Kendra has already given complaint of doctors reported in the in the article of outlook magazine to the CMO (Copy attached). Besides that at the time of publication NGOs did public demonstration to pressurise the authority to take action but all in vain
b. CMO completely denied any complaint received from Sakhi Kendra and said that he does not have any information about the decoy details published in out look or any public demonstration in the town in wake of this publication.
c. DM aware of the Rampant Sex selection taking place in the town
d. Copy of Complaint along with the Xerox copy of the article submitted to CMO And DM for further action

Observations
1. NGOs clear that Appropriate authority should take action
2. CMO though aware of the situation in the District hardly interested in taking any action. CMO was not convinced to take any action even after Director PNDT Ministry H &FW directed him to do so. CMO trying to push the responsibility of seizers on DM even after knowing that he is the authority under PNDT Law to take action.
3. DM though verbally supportive but operationally was unable to provide two police man to avoid law and force situations.
4. Deputy CMO-PNDT not ready to take any responsibility as according to him all mentioned doctors in the article are powerful and influential

Experiences with the Bureaucracy
On 21ST Social Scientist try to meet CMO who was not traceable till 3:30 pm and finally managed to get appointment at 4: 30 pm. CMO completely denied any complaint received in connection of any decoy operations. Social Scientist provided the copy of the complaint along with the copy of article for further action. Just for an eye wash he send on of his CMO along with social scantest to visit few ultrasound clinics around the UTSALA Govt. hospital which is office of CMO also. The clerk who is in charge of PNDT documentation in AA also joined the team. The deputy CMO and the clerk were reluctant to enter any clinic particularly deputy CMO as according to him he won’t be able get any support from CMO if he takes any action against doctors, which they shared of the record (madam sab karte hai aur sab ko pata hai. Office mai bhi koi zimadari lanai ko tayar nahi)
However we managed to visit on clinic PARAK where doctor was not available and while checking the Form F it was found that the form F are not Duly signed by the performing doctor. Deputy CMO didn’t seal the machine but it was insisted by social scientist that the form F which did not bear the signature of performing doctors should be seized and register of the forms were got to the CMO office. Then team also tried to visit the most notorious clinic of the town “KALPANA” Clinic but it seems that the clinic had been informed before hand and the ultrasound lab was locked along with the records once the team reached, it was told that doctor has gone some where along with the keys and he won’t be able to come before 6: 00pm.
In the evening social scientist briefed DM about the decoy operation published in the Outlook magazine and also shared the complaint launched by an NGO with the CMO copies of the same where also submitted to DM. DM ensured that necessary action will be taken by the CMO and collector ate will give all the necessary cooperation in case the CMO needs force to maintain the law and order while taking the action against the clinics which has been spelled out in the article.
Second day the equations were different CMO hardly was keen to take any action DC was not able to mange two police personal without which CMO was not ready to go for inspection. From 9:30am to 4:20 pm Social Scientist was taken round and round from CMO office to DM residence then to Deputy DMs office then back CMOs office then to DM residence then to collectorate and finally to Magistrate civil line office till 4:20 pm for arranging a Superintendent of police to accompany with the team. The whole experience was frustrating CMO did not have time to go in person for the inspection, Deputy CMO was deputed for the inspection, Deputy CMO was not willing to use his powers under PNDT law, DM so casual about the arranging police officer for raids though the request was made one day earlier, deputy DM and magistrate not keen on seizures and sealing as they don’t think that the Decoy reported in an leading Hindi weekly is enough evidence to take action like sealing and seizures. In the whole process Social scientist got lengthy lessons regarding PNDT law. She was told that being a Social Scientist she doesn’t know how laws are implemented in India and being law enforcers they deal laws on daily basis and have deep understanding of all laws.

Suggestions
UP is an extreme case where Crime is wedded with the law enforcing machinery. Doctors are openly violating the law and well informed govt. machinery is clear that they are not going to take action in this case only option left is to seek help from apex court.

Ifat Hamid
Social scientist NSMC-PNDT

Annexure IX
Minutes of the meeting with Director General Investigation’s Income Tax

Date: Monday 17th July
Venue: Income Tax Office, Jande Wallan
Time: 3:30 PM

Agenda

1. Update on the situation of illegal sex selection business going on in Delhi.
2. How income tax department can restrict this illegal flourishing business by cross checking the income returns submitted by the ultrasound owners and the actual income earned by them
3. Recent Income tax raids on some clinics in the Delhi.

Members present in the meeting

1. Mr Maxwell Pereira, law enforcement- NSMC-PNDT
2. Ms Ifat Hamid, social scientist –NSMC-PNDT
3. Mr S.S. Singh, Director General Investigations- Income Tax Department
4. Mr SG Joshi, Director Investigation II- Income Tax Department

Minutes:

Mr Maxwell Pereira gave elaborate details of the rampant sex selection and the booming business generated there off by the ultrasound clinics in the city of Delhi. Director General Investigations, Mr S.S. Singh, sharing the concerns said that the matter is of great concern.

Then discussing how income tax department can be instrumental in creating deterrence for these erring doctors who are making voluminous profits by indulging in this mass illegal sex selection through ultrasound. NSMC suggested that if income tax department can scrutinise the income returns of the doctors who are supposed to be indulging in this illegal activity and can cross check with their earnings and if discover any discrepancy take the necessary action.
Then it was further discussed information of these erring doctors will be tracked from different sources and NSMC will be happy to take this responsibility. Discussing the operational part Mr SG Joshi, Director Investigation II, said that income tax department can take up surveys of those doctors for checking their earnings.
Mr S. S. Singh, D G. Investigations realising the need for action delegated Mr SG Joshi, Director Investigation II for this task and Mr Joshi ensured that after further discussions within the department he will get back for the future course of action to the NSMC.

Responding to the enquiry NSMC about the resent income tax raids done on some doctors in the Delhi Mr S. S. Singh, D G. Investigations informed that four doctors were raided in the first half of Feb. 2006. He further suggested that if income tax department decided to take any action in this direction these four cases can be the starting point. Details of the four cases couldn’t be provided by the department due to confidentiality reason but assured that some details will be converse in the future communications

Annexure X
National Support & Monitoring Cell – PNDT
Detailed Report for 15-May & 30 July 2006

Study and familiarisation
– Study of the PC & PNDT Act and familiarisation with the history and current aspects of the problem of sex selection – to arm the consultants adequately with knowledge of legal position and procedural aspects and operational target areas to be focussed on, for the Cell’s own competency and expected role in the key functions listed. Particularly for Consultant (Law Enforcement), as Consultants – Social Scientist & Legal Aid already have experience in the related field.
– Relevant readings on the subject – the Ministry’s correspondence – news clippings in the media
– Viewing of presentations
– Viewing and study of video recordings of TV sting operations.
– internet browsing
– working on standard check-lists for inspection of clinics/ ultrasound facilities & diagnostic centres; related procedures, and standard template for launching prosecutions. (Tentative check-list prepared for scrutiny of ‘Form-F’).

Enquiry/Looking into complaints
Complaints referred to the NSMC by the PNDT cell in the Ministry were looked into and relevant reports submitted to the Ministry.
– Complaint against Gobhania Nursing Home, South West Delhi A complaint was launched by Delhi commission of women (DCW) with state appropriate authorities against Gobhanian Nursing home for violating PNDT law by publishing of advertisement. NSMS on 23rd May 06 went to South West district to check on action taken by the DAA against the violating nursing home. A detailed report on the case and the action taken along with the recommendation was submitted
to the Ministry.
– Complaints against diagnostic centres/ clinics in Meerut. Initial report submitted to the Ministry. More details below.

Field visits
– Visit to offices of CDMO/ South-west District Delhi. Detailed report submitted to the Ministry.
– Visit to Offices of the Directorate of Family Welfare, Delhi Govt.
– Consultants (LE) & (SS) visited Delhi State Appropriate Authority to get an update on the implementation status of PNDT law in Delhi. An in depth study on the status of the cases filed by Delhi PNDT authorities was attempted. A detailed report on the same has been submitted to the Ministry
– Visits on demand to Central District Appropriate Authority (Delhi) for advice and support (Consultants – Social Scientist & Legal Aid on June 26); and Consultants (SS) and (LE) on 30th June 06. NSMC has asked for a detailed report from the central district regarding their further legal queries in some specific cases in their district, which NSMC is yet to receive. Participation also in the Advisory Council meeting of this DAA (by (Consultants – LE & SS. Advising/ working on providing a broad standard template for launching prosecutions.
– Visits by Consultant (Social Scientist) to Meerut in connection with the complaints received by Ministry against Meerut clinics. Meeting with district officials & local NGOs. On June 24 and on July 4. A detailed report is being submitted separately.

Follow up with State authorities
– with authorities indicated broadly under sub-heading ‘field visits’.

Providing Consultancy & Support
– participating in the Advisory Council meeting of CDMO Central and providing advice and support in procedures and enforcement of the law aspects
– advising Dr Mittal, CDMO PNDT/MTP on modalities to update status of Delhi cases and court procedures.
– advising the Ministry on project scrutiny and selection of NGOs in the field (Consultant – Social Scientist)
– Providing opinion to the Ministry on new literature/ books on the subject (Consultant – Social Scientist)

Meetings
– Preliminary briefing by Director PNDT in the Ministry (Nirman Bhavan, 15 May 06)
– Meeting organised by AIDWA and other women group on 19th May 06 regarding Calling Attention Motion on this issue in the Raj Sabha. Ms Brinda Karat, MP Raj Sabha briefed the participants about the proceedings. Attended by Social Scientist.
– Meeting of State Health Secretaries and other bodies taken by Union Health Secretary (Nirman Bhavan, 01 June 06)
– Meeting of JS/ Family Welfare (Nirman Bhavan, 08 June 06) to discuss role and work plan for the NSM Cell
– Meeting of the Central Supervisory Board (Vigyan Bhavan, 14 June 06) co-chaired by Union Minister Health & Family Welfare, and Minster Women & Child Welfare. 45
– Meeting at UNFPA (Jor Bagh, 15 June 06) for information sharing.
– Meetings wit DC and Addl DC Meerut on Jun 24 and July 4 (Consultant –SS)
– Regular meetings with Director PNDT at Nirman Bhavan (Consultant – Social Scientist) for collection of documents, submission of reports and other NSM Cell activity – administration & documentation aspects.

Proactive Advocacy
– Generating discussion on the subject with public bodies/ organizations of opinion builders and influence wielders.
– Participating in group activity, panel discussions/ and as speaker
i) CAPED (Consultant – Social Scientist)
Social scientist attended 2 meetings on 17th may & 19th June 06 organised by the Citizen Against Pre Birth Elimination Of Daughters (CAPED) regarding the audit process of form F of Delhi clinics that CAPED is involved in.
ii) Rotary Club (Consultant – Law Enforcement)
An orientation & advocacy presentation is planned.
iii) DCW (Consultant – Social Scientist)
iv) FICCI Ladies Organization (Consultant – Law Enforcement)
An orientation & advocacy presentation is planned on August 1st as key note speaker at a panel discussion chaired by former Justice Leela Seth at Federation House, Tansen Marg) .
v) Religious bodies/ think tanks (Discussion group at the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, Gol Dak-khana.- by Consultant/ Law Enforcement)
– Article in the Hindustan Times by Consultant (Law Enforcement) on status of enforcement of PNDT laws in Delhi
– Participation by Consultant- Law Enforcement in a high level “Security Scenario in Gurgaon” seminar (29 June 06) at the HIPA (Haryana Institute of Public Administration) chaired by former Chief Secretary/ Haryana. Among other things also speaking on and discussing the impact on sex related crimes and other crimes against women consequent to the practise of sex selection for exterminating the female foetuses and the girl child – further discussion and follow up with DC-
Gurgaon on the subject.
– Panel discussion on female foeticide to be telecast on national TV channel Doordarshan, organised. Live recording on 13 July 06.

Interaction with related bodies/ NGOs
– discussion with TV channels for proactive advocacy and objective coverage of the subject (Consultant – Law Enforcement
– NGOs and DCW (Consultant – Social Scientist)

Liaison
– With local authorities (Delhi Police – by Consultant/ Law Enforcement)
– With MCD Health authorities (Consultants – Social Scientist & Law Enforcement)
– With National Informatics Centre – by Consultant Law Enforcement
– With Income-tax authorities – by Consultant Law Enforcement (no immediate head way. They are currently busy with the annual tax/ submission of tax returns and related matters). Efforts to continue.

Media monitoring and dissemination to field players
– with the assistance of UNFPA, keeping abreast with all pndt/ sex selection related information by monitoring all news clippings on the subject and disseminating them for information/ reaction and response to Health authorities in the States and Union Territories. Efforts made with the Ministry to update the email addresses of related Health authorities in the country, yet to succeed.

Ifat Hamid                                                                   Maxwell Pereira
Consultant – Social Scientist                                Consultant – Law Enforcement

Annexure XI
National Support & Monitoring Cell – PNDT
Detail Report for 1stAugust to 15th October 2006

Follow up on AS-HFW’s meeting of July 13
Delhi Government: In pursuance of decisions for action listed on 13 July, a meeting was taken by AS-HFW on July 26 with Health officials of Delhi Govt. In the follow up desired, Consultant (Law Enforcement) has been constantly in touch with Shri Kuldip Wahi, Special Secretaty (Health) Delhi Government to check on and monitor on the status of PNDT cases of Delhi. From information provided by him, there is marginal progress with an attempt made to track down each of the cases from the earlier projected list of 82. He has confirmed now that 35 of them definitely do not exist. An assurance has been extracted that steps have been initiated to monitor systematically the status and progress in court in respect of the other cases. It has been brought home to him that it is incumbent on the State Govt to amend/ correct in writing the statistics hitherto provided, which he has promised to do. The Special Secretary has also been requested for some proactive action as well on the part of Delhi authorities, motivating him to organize or arrange to organize some raids at the Districts CMO level.
Simultaneously, it is deemed appropriate for the Consultants of the National Support and Monitoring Cell to meet the Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt Sheila Dixit to apprise her of the actual status of enforcement of PNDT laws in Delhi – and for the purpose, a meeting has been sought.

Field Visits: In pursuance of the decision to monitor follow up action taken by different states on the sting operations done by different media channels, Consultant (Social scientist) visited the states UP and MP to examine and document action taken by concerned state health and other authorities against the exposed doctors shown indulging in illegal sex selection for female foeticide. She visited Jaipur, Jhansi and Gwalior and reports in this regard have been submitted to the Ministry. Social scientist has also visited J&K to evaluate status of implementation of PNDT laws in the state.

Foetuses in well – Patran case

Investigation: Associating with the investigations in the case and monitoring progress – by Consultant (Legal)

Liaison: Independently interacting with state police authorities – by Consultant (Law Enforcement) – an effort through the IndiaTopCop network. TOI article – “15 female foetuses recovered from Punjab Doc’s well”, circulated through IndiaTopCop to all DIGs/CID and all District SPs across the country to sensitise and motivate DCs into action needed.
Also circulated an appeal letter to IndiaTopCop fraternity in the matter, and also to all health authorities across the country

Proactive Advocacy

Opinion builders & influence wielders: Generating discussion on the issue of illegal sex selection and pndt law enforcement
with public bodies/ organizations of opinion builders and influence wielders.

Panel discussion on TV – July 16: Participation of Consultant Law Enforcement as a prominent thrust panellist in a
discussion on female foeticide arranged through personal advocacy – telecast on national TV channel Doordarshan on 16 July 06. Instrumental in ensuring the presence of Director-PNDT Cell from the Union Health Ministry as a panellist too.
Also present in the participating Group on camera was NSMC’s Consultant–Legal, Veena Singh, who could also contribute effectively.

Advocacy through IndiaTopCop fraternity:
The vast outreach and vibrant discussion, and the “opinion building for action” potential on the platform of the IndiaTopCop fraternity in internet’s Yahoo Groups on cyber space has been tapped by Consultant (Law Enforcement) for positive and impacting advocacy in illegal selection matters; …with a view to expose and disseminate a realistic picture of the state of affairs in the country concerning the adversely declining female to 1000 male sex ratio, to spread the message of its adverse impact and consequences on the community, to keep the issue alive in immensely effective action platforms and levels, and to motivate those responsible not to fail in their duty to enforce PNDT laws in an effort to eradicate the menace of illegal sex selection for female foeticide.
Examples of resultant interest, involvement etc already reported separately on email – action and response, though gradual, slow, but surely forthcoming… as result of the advocacy attempted with the police management across the country… (the interest exhibited by Keshav Kumar DIG/ CID in Gujarat, with the promise of proactive interest in enforcement of PNDT laws in his state (separately communicated) is a case in point.

Women’s Safety Project of Delhi Police:
Discussions on Aug 27 with Sagarpreet Hooda, the Addl DCP West Delhi – who conceived and implemented for Delhi Police, Project Parivartan, a project for Women’s Safety. Associated consultant (social scientist) too in the discussions, including on pndt matters and female foeticide, as part of women’s safety issues – to see where collaborative venture is possible.

Panel discussion at FICCI – August 1: Consultant Law Enforcement was keynote speaker at Panel discussion on Female
Foeticide on Aug 1: held under the auspices of the FICCI Ladies’ Organisation at Federation House, Tansen Marg, ND-1. Other speakers included: Justice Leela Seth (former CJ Himachal Pradesh), Supreme Court advocate Seita Vaidyalingam,
National Chairman FLO: Mukhta Nandini Jain, Chairperson NCW – Girija Vyas, Dr Veena Bali-gynaecologist & Dr Doda from the medical fraternity, as also Dr Ved Kumari-Professor of Law from Delhi University. Social Scientist NSMC – Ifat
Hamid, also attended. High profile, hard hitting, under glare of a wide spectrum of the print and television media.

Journalistic foray:
* Article in Delhi Mid-Day by Consultant (Law Enforcement) on the impact and ill effects of discriminatory sex selection and female foeticide on the community and the nation’s people as a whole. Also in the context of latest development of “home sex-test kits”.
* Giving interviews to press and TV journalists to generate articles and other media coverage. Keeping the issue alive and constantly in the public mind.

Interaction with key field players:
Follow up with DC Gurgaon by Consultant- Law Enforcement on efforts to initiate a proactive enforcement of pndt laws in the District – in pursuance of the advocacy on the subject initiated at the high level “Security Scenario in Gurgaon” seminar (29 June 06) at HIPA (Haryana Institute of Public Administration) chaired by former Chief Secretary/ Haryana.

Enlisting help of Income Tax authorities: Meeting sought and arranged through personal efforts of Consultant- Law
Enforcement with Director General Investigations of the Income-tax department and other authorities – to press on the effort at getting the income tax authorities get invoved proactively to nail rogue doctors who indulge in illegal sex selection and hide their huge earnings through ultrasound machines from their Income tax Returns.
Consultant- Social scientist also accompanied Consultant- Law Enforcement to the Income tax authorities. Efforts to continue.

Participating in other group activity: (Workshops and seminars)
Social scientist attended Right to information mela held in Indira Gandhi International Stadium to understand how RTI can be used for procuring information under PNDT and examine possibility to organise a similar mela for the PNDT act

Media monitoring and dissemination to field players
Keeping abreast with all pndt/ sex selection related information by monitoring all news clippings on the subject and disseminating them for information/ reaction and response to Health authorities in the States and Union Territories. Efforts made with the Ministry to update the email addresses of related Health authorities in the country, yet to succeed.
Study and familiarisation
* Continuing the study of the PC & PNDT Act, its varied applications and implications and familiarisation with the ongoing debate on aspects of the problem of sex selection – to arm the consultants adequately with knowledge of correct legal
position and procedural aspects and operational target areas to be focussed on, for the Cell’s own competency and expected role in the key functions listed. Relevant readings on the subject – the Ministry’s correspondence and news clippings in the media, viewing presentations, video recordings of sting operations, internet browsing, etc.
* Preparing presentations for different target groups
Enquiry/Looking into complaints
Looking into complaints referred to the NSMC by the PNDT cell in the Ministry.
Other field visits
Visits to Central District Appropriate Authority (Delhi) for advice and support (all three Consultants) to examine and monitor action taken by the authority against clinics that were not keeping records and violating other provisions of PNDT law.

Providing Consultancy & Support
* Participating in the Advisory Council meeting of CDMO Central and providing advice and support in procedures and enforcement of the law aspects.
* Continuing to advise Dr Mittal, CDMO PNDT/MTP on modalities to update status of Delhi cases and court procedures.
* Advising the Ministry on project scrutiny and selection of NGOs in the field (Consultant – Social Scientist)
* Literature Review: Providing opinion to the Ministry on new literature/ books on the subject. Social Scientist reviewed the novel Unborn Curse that was under consideration for IEC material with the ministry. Detailed comments have been
submitted to Director PNDT separately.
Meetings
* Meeting taken by the Ministry and in other offices or fora as already indicated in sub-headings above.
* Meetings with Director PNDT at Nirman Bhavan (Consultant – Social Scientist) for collection of documents, submission of reports and other NSM Cell activity – administration & documentation aspects.
Interaction with related bodies/ NGOs
* Consultant (Law Enforcement) with Consultant (Social Scientist) took a meeting with a particular TV channel which after being motivated through the advocacy of the Cell evinced interest in conducting sting operations
* Interaction with other channels (Aankhon Delkhi) for proactive advocacy and objective coverage of the subject (Consultant – Law Enforcement)
* NGOs and DCW (Consultant – Social Scientist)

Liaison
* Interaction with DG/NIC Dr N Vijayaditya & Dr Mahesh Chandra of the National Informatics Centre to evolve a “direct to group” means of communication simultaneously to the 570 odd DCs in the country at the same time.– by Consultant
(Law Enforcement).
* With local authorities (Delhi Police – by Consultant/ Law Enforcement)
*With MCD Health authorities (Consultants – Social Scientist & Law Enforcement)
* With Delhi Government – Consultant (Law Enforcement)

Ifat Hamid Maxwell Pereira
Consultant – Social Scientist Consultant – Law Enforcement

source- (http://mohfw.nic.in/dofw%20website/Material%20for%20New%20PNDT%20Website/NSMC/NSMC%20Activity%20Report_May-Oct%2006.pdf )

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s