CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO. 11102 OF 2008 -1- IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.
DATE OF DECISION: December 10, 2008.
State of Punjab and others
CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE T.S.THAKUR, CHIEF JUSTICE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE JASBIR SINGH
PRESENT: Mr. PPS Duggal,
Advocate, for the petitioner
Mr. H.S. Sidhu, Addl. A.G., Punjab,
for respondents No. 1 to 4.
Mr. L.S.Sidhu, Advocate, for respondent No. 5.
1. Whether Reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgment?
2. To be referred to the Reporters or not?
3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the Digest? T.S.THAKUR, CHIEF JUSTICE (oral)
This petition has been filed in public interest. It prays for a mandamus directing respondents No. 1 to 4 to take action as per law against respondent No. 5, who is alleged to be indulging in acts of female foeticide. CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO. 11102 OF 2008 -2- Petitioner’s case as set out in the writ petition is that respondent No. 5, who is a trained Dai (Nurse) is indulging in acts of female foeticide in collusion with a few others and yet no action is being taken against her even when the Chief Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Ferozepur, respondent No. 2 had constituted a Team of Doctors to raid her premises on September 12, 2006. It is alleged that the raiding party had noticed medicines used for conducting abortions apart from instruments, which were handed over to the S.H.O. concerned with a direction to register a case against the persons concerned. Nothing, however, has according to the petitioner, been done by the authorities thereafter with the result that respondent No. 5 continues to indulge in the nefarious activities against the provisions of law and in utter disregard of the moral ethics.
In response to a notice issued by this Court, respondent No. 4 has filed a reply, in which it is inter alia stated that no complaint of sex determination by any person including the petitioner was lodged against respondent No. 5 or any other person. The affidavit goes on to state that one complaint making false allegations of female foeticide and illegal abortions was filed by one Mandeep Kaur leading to registration of FIR No. 102 dated July 30, 2008, for offences punishable under Sections 376/312/313/318/206/120-B IPC in Police Station Mamdot, district Ferozepur. The investigation of the case, however, revealed that the allegations made in the FIR were false. The FIR was accordingly cancelled. The affidavit states that respondent No. 5 holds a valid certificate being a trained Dai.
An affidavit has been filed even by respondent No. 5, in which the allegation that the said respondent was indulging in female foeticide CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO. 11102 OF 2008 -3- directly or by providing services to others has been denied. We have heard learned counsel for the parties at some length and perused the record.
It was contended by counsel appearing for the petitioner that the allegation regarding constitution of a Team of Doctors by respondent No. 2 and seizure of medicines and instruments from the premises of respondent No. 5 have not been specifically denied by respondents No. 4 and 5. It was also submitted by him that the respondents are not taking effective action against those indulging in female foeticide contrary to the provisions of law on the subject and that this Court ought to issue directions to the authorities to look into the matter and effectively implement and enforce the said provisions.
Mr. Sidhu, counsel appearing for respondents No. 1 to 4, on the other hand, submits that in case any raid had indeed been conducted and any incriminating evidence has been collected in the course thereof, the authorities concerned would take appropriate action in the matter against those guilty of committing any offence including female foeticide. In the circumstances, therefore, and keeping in view the fact that the allegations made by the petitioner regarding constitution of Team of Medical Officers and the seizure of medicines and instruments and other incriminating evidence do not appear to have been specifically denied by respondents No. 1 to 4, we are of the view that the Director, Health Services, Government of Punjab, would do well to look into the matter, secure the relevant information from the Chief Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Ferozepur, and in case it is found that any such Team was constituted and any incriminating evidence regarding any illegal activity being carried on by respondent No. 5 CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO. 11102 OF 2008 -4- is discovered in the same, the Director shall ensure that appropriate proceedings are initiated against the parties concerned by referring the matter to the Police, who shall investigate the case properly and take the same to its logical conclusion. Beyond that we do not consider it necessary or proper to make any observation. The writ petition is disposed of with the above directions. The Director of Health Services, Punjab, shall do the needful expeditiously but not later than six weeks from the date a copy of this order is received by him. No costs.
December 10, 2008. JUDGE DKC