Dr Dwarika Prasad v. State of U.P. & Or

AFR
Judgmentreserved on 18.04.2013
Judgmentdeliveredon 17.05.2013
CivilMisc.Writ PetitionNo.21395of 2013
Dr Dwarika Prasad v. State of U.P. & Ors.
Hon. SunilAmbwani,J.
Hon. ManojKumarGupta,J.
1. We   have   heard   Shri   S.P.   Giri,   learned   counsel   for   the
petitioner.     Learned   Standing   Counsel   appears   for   the   State
respondents.
2. The   petitioner   is   a   qualified   and   registered   medial
practitioner.   He   also   claims   to   have   undergone   training   in
Ultrasonography   in   the   year   1997   at   Indian   College   of   Medical
Ultrasound,   which   is   running   basic   ultrasound   training   course   in
OBC  &  GYN  Sonography.   He   owns   Ultrasound   machine   and   is
providing   ultrasound   test   facilities   in   the   name   of   ‘Ashish
Ultrasound   and   X-rays   Center’   Hospital   Road   Padrauna   District
Kushi Nagar since 2003.
3. In   this   writ   petition  the   petitioner   has  prayed  for   quashing
the   order   dated   16.3.2013   passed   by   the   District   Magistrate/
Appropriate   Authority,   Kushi   Nagar   by   which   he   has   cancelled
License   No.01   dated   29.12.2006   granted   to   ‘Ashish   Ultrasound
and  X-rays Center Hospital Road  Padrauna  District Kushi Nagar’,
to   run   the   Ultrasound   Test   Center   on   the   grounds   that   the
petitioner  has  violated  the  provisions  of  Section  4  (3)   of  the  ‘Pre-Conception   and   Pre-Natal   Diagnostic   Techniques   (Prohibition   of
Sex and Selection) Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act, 1994) and Rule 9
(4) and Rule 10 (1-A) of the Rules framed under the Act.
4. It   is   stated   by   learned   counsel   for   the   petitioner   that   the
petitioner   is   running   Ultrasound   Centre   since   2003   without   any
complaintfromanyperson. Heis submitting statutoryreturns and
forms   to   the   satisfaction   of   the   registration   authority.     The
petitioner claimstobea highly qualified medical practitioner with
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MBBS   (1968)   and   M.S.   (1971)   Degrees   and   experience   in
ultrasonography.     He   maintains   records   in   accordance   with   the
provisions   of   the   Act   and   the   Rules   and   has   published   a   public
notice   by   putting   up   a   board   in   front   of   his   clinic   that   there   is
restriction   of   diagnosis   for   sex   selection   by   ultrasound   machine,
which amounts to an offence.
5. It   is   submitted   that   a   news   report   was   published   by   Dr.
NeelamSingh, a gynecologist,an activist associated with ‘Save the
Girl Child’ reporting the sex ratio in Distt. Kushi Nagar is 694 girls
to 1000 boys, as against the national sex ratio of 940 girls to 1000
boys.     The   report   is   not   authentic   and   was   published   to   give   a
wrong information to the people of Distt. Kushinagar.    The report
is   also   highly   improbable   and   much   below   the   census   report   of
2011, which gives sex ratio of 955/1000.   The report published by
Dr.   Neelam   Singh   was   neither   seen   nor   placed   before   the
appropriate authorityparticularlybeforethe Advisory Board or the
Advisory   Committee.     The   district   administration   appears   to   be
falsely   alarmed   by   the   report   and   decided   to   take   action.     On
16.2.2013   the   Chief   Medical   Officer   and   the   Sub   Divisional
Magistrate,   Kushi   Nagar   inspected   the   petitioner’s   clinic   and
without  calling  for  any  explanation  from  the  petitioner  sealed  the
clinic   unauthorisedly   by   an   illegal   and   arbitrary   action.    A  show
cause  notice  was,   thereafter,   issued  to  the  petitioner  on  19.2.2013
referring   to   the   inspection   dated   16.2.2013,   seeking   his
explanation with regard to use of ultrasound machine in his clinic.
The   petitioner  submitted  his   reply  on  27.2.2013,   which   was   duly
received   by   the   District   Magistrate.     In   his   reply   the   petitioner
submitted   that   vague   allegations   have   been   levelled   against   him
that   he   has   not   complied   with   the   provisions   of   Section   4   (3),   9
(1),   9   (4)   and   10   (1-A)   of   the   PC  &  PNDT   Act,   1994   and   that
Form-F was not properly maintained.
6. It is submitted by learned counsel for the petitioner that the
petitioner  has  been  maintaining  all   the   forms  as  prescribed  under
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the   Act   and   the   Rules,   and   as   a   qualified   and   registered   medical
practitioner   he   has   right   to   run   the   clinic.    The   entire   action   was
illegal, arbitrary and unjustified.
7. It is  further submitted  by learned  counsel  appearing  for the
petitioner   that   the   allegations   against   the   petitioner   are   only
confined  to  the  non-maintenance  of  the  records  under  Rule  9  and
10  of  the  PC  &  PNDT  Rules.     The  petitioner  had  not   only  given
detailed   reply   to   the   show  cause   notice   but   had   also   offerred   to
produce   the   entire   record.     The   petitioner   has   submitted   that   he
uses   ultrasound   machine   for   clinical   examination   of   the   patients
for diagnosis for stomach and other ailments.   The monthly report
is   sent   to   the   Chief   Medical   Officer   giving   the   date,   name,   age,
father/husband’s   name,   address,   name   of   the   referral   doctor   with
signature   or   thumb   mark   of   each   patient.     A   warning   is   also
published bythe petitioner on the noticeboard inhisclinic that the
ultrasound test is not used in the clinic for determination of sex.
8. The   petitioner   in   his   reply   dated   27.2.2013   prayed   for
withdrawing   the   notice,   return   of   the   records   and   to   deseal   his
clinic.     The   District   Magistrate,   however,   instead   of   considering
the reply after  giving  the  details  of  the  female  to male  ratio  in  the
district,   based   only   on   the   allegations   that   the   petitioner   is   not
maintaining   the   records   properly,   cancelled   the   license.     It   is
submitted that the order cancelling the license is founded upon the
facts  and figures of which notices were not  given  to  the petitioner
nor is  the petitioner responsible for  any sex determination  and the
abortions, which may  have reduced the sex ratio in  the  district.   It
is   submitted  that   the   sex  ratio  in   the   district  is   also  not   authentic
and could not have been used to cancel the petitioner’s license. The
petitioner   is   qualified   and   authorised   medical   practitioner.     His
fundamentalright toprofessionhas beenaffectedbyArt.19(1)(g)
of   the   Constitution   of   India   without   any   reasonable   basis   and
following due process of law.
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9. We   have   examined   the   show  cause   notice   and   the   replies
submitted   by   the   petitioner   and   find   that   the   petitioner   has
admittedin para 4 of his reply that he did not submitreportson the
prescribed format (Form-F).  In para 5 of his reply dated 27.2.2013
the   petitioner   has   stated   that   the   Chief   Medical   Officer   did   not
inform  him  in  any  of  the  meeting  that   the  reports  have  to  be  sent
on  the   format   (Form-F).     The   office  of   the   Chief   Medical   officer
never objected to the submission of thereports by the petitioner on
thegroundthat theyarenot onthe prescribedformat(Form-F). In
para   7   of   his   reply   the   petitioner   stated   that   the   entire   records
available with him were provided to the Chief Medical Officer  on
the date of inspection on 16.2.2013,which was taken inpossession
and the clinic was sealed without giving any receipt of the record.
10. The   petitioner   has   annexed   the   news   items   published   in
‘Timesof India’dated 22
nd
March, 2013reportingtheactingtaken
in   District   Kushi   Nagar  against  the  ultrasound  clinics.     The  news
report  shows  that  in  the  day  long  crackdown  launched  by  District
Magistrate Shri Rigzin Sampheal, the inspecting party sealed nine
ultrasound centres after‘TimesofIndia’reportedabout the district
recording   lowest   sex   ratio   at   birth   in   the   country   in   the   wake   of
these test centres that have mushroomed all over the place. Out of
65  ultrasound  centres  in   the   district   60%  has  come  up  in   the   last
five   years.   The   report   further   states  that   comparing  the   0-6   years
female;   male   ratio   between   census   2001   and   2011,   sex   ratio   in
Kushinagar recorded a decline of 38 points.
11. The   petitioner   has   annexed   the   Kushi   Nagar   District
Population   Census,   2001,   Uttar   Pradesh,   literacy,   sex   ratio   and
density  in which  sex  ratio    (per  1000)  child,  sex  ratio  (0-6  age)  is
reported   as   955   as   against   963   in   the   year   2001.     Dr.   Nileema
Singh   reported   fall   of   sex   ratio   far   below  the   ratio   shown   in   the
census  at   917  in   the  year  2011  per  1000  male  as  against   953  per
1000   male   in   the   year   2001.     The   District   Magistrate   has   quoted
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this   ratio   in   the   opening   paragraph   of   the   impugned   order   as
follows:-“The  comparative  census   for   the   year   2001   and   2011  for
district Kushinag ar stands as  noted belo w:
2011 2001
Male and female ratio in total
popu lation  of dis trict
1000 955 1000 960
Population of 0 to 6 years
children
1000 917 1000 953”
12. TheDistrict Magistrate hasshownhisconcern at the drastic
fall   in   the   number   of   female   per   thousand   male   in   District
Kushinagar   and   has   observed   that   this   shocking   reduction   in   the
percentage   of   girl   child   during   last   census   is   complimented   by
reports   of   large   scale   anomalies   and   non-compliance   of   required
norms under PC & PNDT Act by various ultrasound clinics in the
district. As per the report of the Chief Medical Officer, Kushinagar
dated 12.2.2013 out of 65 registered ultrasound centres running in
the   district   none   has   submitted   the   records   as   required   under
Section  29  and  Rule  9  (4)  under  the  PC  &  PNDT  Act.     Bases  on
these   facts   the   District   Magistrate   found   that   there   is   strong
possibility   of   hidden   relation   between   mushrooming   number   of
ultrasound   clinics   and   the   shocking   fall   in   the   percentage   of   girl
child   in   District   Kushinagar,   which   demanded   immediate
inspection   of   ultrasound   clinics.     The   severity   of   the   problem  in
the  district   can  be  assessed  from  the  fact   that   the  district   stand  at
67
th
position  out   of  71  districts  surveyed  for  sex  ratio  in  the  State
of U.P.
13. The   District   Magistrate   carried   out   random  inspections   of
22   ultrasound   centres   across   the   district   by   team   consisting   of
government   doctors   and   support   staff   from   the   revenue
department.   In  the   case   of   ‘Ashish  Ultrasound  and  X-ray  Centre’,
Hospital Road,  Padrauna,  run  by  the  petitioner  the  inspection  was
made by team of Chief Medical Officer Dr.Sanjeev Kumar Gupta
and   S.D.M.   Shri   B.L.   Maurya   on   16.2.2013.     The   team  reported
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that Dr. D.P. Agrawal-the petitioner was present in the clinic.   He
had   shown   the   equipment   but   did   not   produce   the   registration
certificate.   The   maintenance   of   records   was   not   found   in
accordance with  the Rules  and  thus  the clinic was  sealed.   On the
basis of the inspection report dated 16.2.2013 a show cause notice
was issued  on  19.2.2013 to which the petitioner submitted a  reply
of which paragraphs 4, 5and 6 have beenreferred toas above and
on which  it was  found  that  the  petitioner  is  not  furnishing records
on prescribed Form-F.
14. The   District   Magistrate   has,   thereafter,   referred   to   the
provisions of  Section  20 and  29 of the PC & PNDT Act and Rule
9 of PC & PNDT Rules, which provide as follows:-“20.   Cancellation   or   suspension   of   registration.-(1)   The   Appropriate   Authority   may   suo   moto,   or   on
complaint,   issue   a   notice   to   the   Genetic   Counselling
Centre,Genetic Laboratory orGenetic Clinic to showcause
why   its   registration   should   not   be   suspended  or   cancelled
for the reasons mentioned in the notice.
(2)  If,  after  giving  a  reasonable  opportunity  of  being  heard
to   the   Genetic   Counselling   Centre,   Genetic   Laboratory   or
Genetic   Clinic   and   having   regard   to   the   advice   of   the
AdvisoryCommittee, the AppropriateAuthorityis satisfied
that there has been a breach of theprovisions of this Act or
the   rules,   it   may,   without   prejudice   to   any  criminal   action
that   it   may  take  against  such  Centre,  Laboratory  or  Clinic,
suspendits registration forsuchperiod as it maythink fitor
cancel its registration, as the case may be.
(3) Notwithstanding anything  contained  in  sub-sections  (1)
and  (2),  if the Appropriate Authority is,  of the  opinion  that
itisnecessary or expedient so to do in the public interest, it
may,   for   reasons   to   be   recorded   in   writing,   suspend   the
registration   of   any   Genetic   Counselling   Centre,   Genetic
Laboratory   or   Genetic   Clinic   without   issuing   any   such
notice referred to in sub-section (1).
29.   Maintenance   of   records.  (1)   All   records,   charts,
forms,   reports,   consent   letters   and   all   other   documents
required to be maintained under this Act and the rules shall
be preserved for a period of two years or for such period as
may be prescribed:
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Provided   that,   if   any   criminal   or   other   proceedings   are
instituted  against   any  Genetic  Counselling  Centre,   Genetic
Laboratory   or   Genetic   Clinic,   the   records   and   all   other
documents   of   such   Centre,   Laboratory   or   Clinic   shall   be
preserved till the final disposal of such proceedings.
(2) All  such  records  shall,  at  all  reasonable  times,  be made
available  for   inspection  to   the   Appropriate  Authority  or  to
any   other   person   authorised   by   the   Appropriate   Authority
in this behalf.
Rule9.Maintenance and preservationofrecords
4.   The   record   to   be   maintained   by   every   Genetic   Clinic
including  a  Mobile  Genetic  Clinic,   in  respect   of  each  man
or  woman  subjected  to  any  pre-natal  diagnostic  procedure/
technique/ test, shall be as specified in form F.”
15. The  petitioner  has  filed  a  supplementary  affidavit  affirmed
by   him   on   17.4.2013,   stating   therein   that   no   appropriate
opportunity  of  hearing  was  afforded  to  the  petitioner.    There  was
no   meeting   held   at   any   time   nor   any   guideline   was   issued   or
provided   to   the   petitioner   either   by   Advisory   Board   or   Advisory
Committee and that the District Magistrate has no authority in  the
technical   matters   as   under   Section   17   of   the   Act   Chairperson   of
the   Advisory   Committee   is   Joint   Director   of   Health   and   Family
Welfare.     The   order   impugned   has   been   passed   by   the   District
Magistrate   without   any   authority.     He   has   annexed   the   records
maintained   by   him  under   Rule   9   (8)   of   which   he   has   submitted
monthly  report  of  the  clinical  tests  carried  out  by  his Centre  from
2.1.2012 to  28.2.2012 (25+18  entries);  a  copy  of  the  register  with
2entries of November 2012;copyofthe register with 8 entries for
July,2012;copyof theregisterwith 16entriesfor August, 2012; a
copy of  the  register with 17+6 entries of  September, 2012; a copy
of the register with4 entries of October,2010; copy of the register
with   2   entries   of   November,   2012;   copy   of   the   entries   of   the
register   with   10   entries   of   November,   2011;   copy   of  the   register
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with   4   entries   of   the   month   of   December,   2011   and   copy   of   the
register with 17 entries of the month of October, 2011.
16. The  details  of  the  copies  of  the  registers  enclosed  with  the
supplementary   affidavit   have   been   mentioned   by   us   in   seriatim,
whereas  these   have   been  annexed  by  petitioner   on  random  basis.
There  is  no  record or  proof  nor  any  defence was  taken  in  reply  to
show cause  notice or  in  this Court  that  all  these tests were carried
out   as   diagnosis   of   any   ailments   other   than   for   sex-selection   on
pregnant women.
17. A   perusal   of   the   entries   of   the   register   annexed   by   the
petitioner   along   with   supplementary   affidavit   not   only   confirms
thefears andthe observance of theDistrict Magistrateon the basis
of which he  has  cancelled  the  license,  they also  disclose  shocking
facts  to   the  Court  and  which  virtually  amount  to   admission  made
by  the   petitioner   of  sex  determination  tests  carried  out   by  him  in
his clinic.  Almost all the entires in the register of the year 2011-12
except a few are of young females between the age group of 19 to
32   years   and   most   of   the   reference   has   been   made   by   Dr.   M.
Chaudhary.     We   have   closely   examined  these   entries   to   find   out
whetherthe petitioner is using ultrasoundmachine for diagnosis of
any  ailments  other  than  sex  determination.   The  copies  of  register
annexed  to   supplementary  affidavit   confirm  that   all   except   a   few
tests  have  been  carried  out   on  young  females  of   the   reproductive
age.
18. The records produced by the petitioner clearly demonstrates
that   the   petitioner   is   using   ultrasound   as   diagnostic   machine   for
anyailments. He is only examiningyoung females betweenage of
19 to 32  years  of  reproductive  age.   The  copy  of  register  annexed
by the petitioner with his affidavit of February, July to December,
2012   confirms   the   findings   of   the   District   Magistrate   that   the
petitioner is usingultrasoundmachinesonlyforthepurposeof sex
determination   of   young   married   females,   and   that   too   on   the
references made  to  the  petitioner  only  two  doctors  namely Dr. M.
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Chaudhary   and   Dr.   Mahesh.   No   other   doctor   refers   cases   to   the
petitioner.
19. This   Court   has   repeatedly   issued   directions   in   Contempt
Application   (C)   No.820  of  2002  to   the   registration  authorities   to
carry   out   the   inspection   of   the   ultrasound   clinics   run   by   both
registeredand qualifiedaswellastheunqualifiedandunregistered
doctors,   in   compliance   with   the   provisions   of   the   PC   &   PNDT
Act.     Those   persons,   who   are   running   ultrasound   machines   and
nursing  homes  for  sex  determination  should  be  sternly  dealt   with
under   the   provisions   of  the   Act.     In   the   order   dated  11.5.2012  in
ContemptApplicationNo.820 of 2002,thisCourthas directed that
if   they   are   found   indulged   in   sex   determination,   their   clinics
should be sealed and they should also be prosecuted.
20. In  Voluntary   health   Association   of  Punjab   v.   Union   of
India & Ors., WritPetition (Civil)No.349of 2006 the Supreme
Court has observed in its order dated 4.3.2013 as follows:-“Indian   society’ s   discrimination   towards   female
child  still   exists  due to  variou s  reasons  which  has  its  roots
in   the   social  behaviour  and  prejudices  against   the   female
child   and,   due   to   the   evils   of   the   dowry   system,   still
prevailing  in   the   society,  in   spite   of   its   prohibi tion   under
the Dowry Prohibit ion Act.  The  decline  in  the female  child
ratioall overthe country leads to an irre sistible  concl usion
that  the  practi ce  of   eliminating   female   foetus  by  the  use  of
pre-nat al  diagnostic  techniques   is   widely  preval ent  in   this
country.   Complaints  are   many,   where   at   least   few   of   the
medical   professiona ls   do   perform   Sex   Selective   Abortion
having  full   know ledge  that  the   sole   reason  for   abortion  is
becaus e it is a female foetus. The provisions  of the Medical
Termination   of   Pregnancy   Act,   1971   are   also   being
consciousl y violated and misused.
The   Parliament   wanted   to   prevent   the   same   and
enacted   the   Pre-Conception   and   Pre-Na tal   Diagnostic
Techniques  (Prohibition   on   Sex-Selection)   Act,   1994   (for
short   ‘the  Act’)   which  has   its   roots  in   Article  15(2)   of  the
Constitution  of   India.  The  Act   is   a  welfare  legislation.  The
Parliament   was   fully   conscious   of   the   fact   that   the
incre asing   imbala nce   between   men   and   women   leads   to
incre ased crime against women, trafficking, sexual assault,
polygamy etc. Unfortu nately,  facts reveal that perpetrator s
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of   the   crime  also  belong  to   the   educated  middle  class  and
often  they  donot perceive th e gravityofthe  crime.
This   Court,   as   early   as,   in   2001   in   Centre   for
Enquiry  into   Health   and  Allied   Themes  v.   Union   of   India
(2001)  5   SCC  577   had  noticed   the   misuse   of   the   Act  and
gave   various   directions   for   its   proper   implementation.
Non-compliance   of   various  directions   was  noticed  by   this
Court  again  in   Centre   for  Enquiry  into  Health   and  Allied
Theme s v. Union of India (2003) 8 SCC 398 and this Court
gave variou s othe r directions.
2011 Census of India, published  by the Office of the
Registra r   General   and   Census   Commissio ner   of   India,
would   show   a   decline  in   female   child   sex   ratio   in   many
States   of   India   from   2001-2011.   The   Annual   Report   on
Registration   of  Births and Deaths  – 2009,  published   by  the
Chief   Registra r   of   NCT   of   Delhi   would   also   indica te   a
sharp   decline   in   the   female   sex   ratio   in   almo st   all   the
Districts.   Above   statistics   is   an   indi cation   that   the
provisions o f th e Actarenot proper ly and ef fectively being
impleme nted.   There   has   been   no   effective   supervision  or
follow up action so as to achieve the object and purpose of
the   Act.   Mushrooming   of   various   Sonograph y   Centres,
Genetic   Clinics,   Genetic   Counselling   Centres,   Genetic
Laboratorie s,   Ultras onic   Clinics,   Imaging   Centres   in
almo st   all   parts   of   the   country   calls   for   more   vigil   and
attention   by   the   authorities   under   the   Act.   But,
unfortunately,   their   functioning   is   not   being   properl y
monitored or supervised bytheauthorities unde rthe Actor
to   find   out   whether   they   are   misusing   the   pre-nata l
diagno stic   tech niques   for   determination  of   sex   of   foetus
leading to f oeticide.
The   Union   of   India   has   filed   an   affidavi t   in
September   2011   giving   the   details   of   the   prosecutions
launched  under  the   Act  and  the   Pre-Conception  and  Pre-Natal   Diagnostic   Techniques   (Prohibit ion   on   Sex-Selection)  Rules,   1996  (for   short   ‘the   Rules’),   up   to   June
2011.  We  have  gone  throu gh  the  chart  as  well   as  the  data
made   available   by   various   States,   which   depic ts   a   sorry
and   an   alarming   state   of   affairs.   Lack   of   proper
supervision   and   effective   implem entation   of   the   Act   by
variou s   States,   are   clearly   demon strated   by   the   details
made   availabl e   to   this   Court.   However,   State   of
Maharashtra   has   compar atively   a   better   track   record.
Seldom,   the   ultrasound   machines   used   for   such   sex
determin ation  in   violation  of  the   provisions  of   the   Act  are
seized   and,  even   if   seized,  the y   are   being  released   to   the
violato rs   of   the   law  only   to   repeat   the   crime.  Hardly   few
cases   end   in   convic tion.   Cases   booked  under  the   Act   are
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pending  disposal  for   several   years   in   many  Courts  in   the
country and nobodytakes  any inter est in their disposa l and
hence,   seldom,   tho se   cases   end   in   conviction   and
sentences,  a  fact  well   known  to  the  violato rs  of   law.  Many
of the ult ra-so nography clinics seldom  maintain any reco rd
as   per   rules   and,   in   respect   of   the   pregnant   women,   no
records  are   kept  for   their  treatment  and  the   provisions  of
the Actandthe Rules are being violated with  impunity.
The   Central   Governme nt   vide   GSR   80(E)   dated
7.2.2 002   issued   a   notification   amending   the   Act   and
regulating  usage   of   mobile  machine s   capable  of  detecting
the   sex   of   the   foetus,   including   portable   ultrasonic
machines,   except   in   cases   to   provide   birth   services   to
patients  when used within its registered premises as part of
the   Mobile   Medical   Unit   offering   a   bouquet   or   other
medical and health services. The Central Governm ent also
vide   GSR   418(E)   dated   4.6.2012   has   notified   an
amendment  by  inserting  a   new  Rule   3.3(3)  with  an   object
to  regulate  illegal  registrations  of   medical  practit ioners  in
genetic  clinics,  and  also  amended  Rule   5(1)   by  increasin g
the   applicat ion   fee  for  registration  of  every   genetic  clinic,
genetic   coun selling   centr e,   genetic   laborato ry,   ultrasound
clinic   or   imaging   centr e   and   amended   Rule   13   by
providing   that   an   advance   notice   by   any   centre   for
intimation   of   every   chang e   in   place,   intimation   of
employees   and   addres s.   Many   of   the   clinics   are   tota lly
unaware   of   thos e   amendments   and   are   carrying   on   the
same practises.”
21. The   Supreme   Court   has   in   the   same   order   dated   4.3.2013
given directions to all the authorities as follows:-“1.   The   Central   Superviso ry   Board   and   the   State   and
Union  Territories  Supervisory   Boards,   constituted  under
Sections 7 and 16A of PN&PNDT Act, would meet at least
once   in   six   months,   so   as   to   supervise  and   oversee   how
effective is th e implementation o f the PN&PNDTAct.
2.The   State   Advisory   Committees   and   District   Advisory
Committees   should   gather   inform ation   relating   to   the
breach   of   the   provisions  of   the   PN&PNDT   Act   and   the
Rules   and   take   steps   to   seize   reco rds,   seal   machines  and
institute  legal   proceedings,  if   they   notice  violation  of   the
provisions of the P N&PNDTAct.
3.The   Committees   mention ed   above   should   repo rt   the
details   of   the   charg es   framed   and   the   convict ion   of   the
persons   who   have   committe d   the   offence,   to   the   State
12
Medical  Councils  for  proper  action,  including  suspensio n
of the registr ation of the unit and cancel lation  of licence  to
practi ce.
4.   The   authorities   should   ensure   also   that   all   Genetic
Counselling   Centres,   Genetic   Labor atories   and   Genetic
Clinics,   Infertility   Clinics,   Scan   Centres   etc.   using   pre-conception   and   pre-nata l   diagnostic   techniques   and
procedures   should   maintain   all   reco rds   and   all   forms,
required  to be maintained  under the Act and the Rules and
the   duplicate  copies  of  the   same  be  sent  to   the   concer ned
District   Authorities,  in   accordance  with  Rule   9(8)   of   the
Rules.
5.  States   and  District   Advisory  Boards  should  ensure   that
all   manufacture rs   and   sellers   of   ultra-so nography
machines  do   not   sell   any   machine   to   any   unregister ed
centre,   as   provided   under   Rule   3-A   and   disclose,   on   a
quarter ly   basis,   to   the   concerned   State/Union   Territory
and   Central   Government,   a   list   of   persons   to   whom   the
machines  have  been  sold,  in   accordance   with  Rule   3-A(2)
ofthe Act.
6.   There   will   be   a   direction   to   all   Genetic   Counselling
Centres,   Genetic   Laborato ries,   Clinics   etc.   to   maintain
forms   A,   E,   H  and   other   Statutory  forms   provided  under
the   Rules  and  if   thes e   forms   are   not  properl y   maintained,
appropriate   action   should   be   taken   by   the   authorities
concern ed.
7. Steps should a lso be taken by the  State Gove rnme ntand
the  authorities  under  the  Act  for mapping  of  all  registered
and unregister ed ultra-so nography clinics,  in three months
time.
8. Steps should be taken by the State Governme nts and the
Union  Territories   to educate  the  people  of  the necessity  of
implementing   the   provisions   of   the   Act   by   conducting
workshops  as   well   as   awareness   camps  at   the   State   and
Districtlevels.
9.   Special  Cell   be   constitute d   by   the   State   Governments
and   the   Union   Territories   to   monitor   the   progress   of
various  cases pending  in the Courts undertheAct and take
steps f or their ea rly disposa l.
10. The auth oritiesconcer nedshouldtake steps  to sei ze the
machines  which  have  been  used   illegally   and  contrar y   to
the provisions   of the Act and the Rules thereunder and  the
seized   machine s   can   also   be   confiscated   under   the
13
provisions  of the Code of Criminal Procedure and be sold,
in accordance  withlaw.
11. The various Courts in this country should take steps to
dispose of all pending  cases under the Act, within a period
of six months. Commu nicate this order to the Registrar s of
various  High  Courts,  who  will   take  appropriate   follow  up
actionwith due intimation to th e concer ned Courts.
All   the   State   Governm ents   are   directed   to   file   a
status r eport within  a period  ofthre e months from today.
Orderedaccordingl y.
……. …… …… …… …… …… …… .J.
(K. S. RADHAKRISHNAN )”
22. In   a   separate   but   concurring   order   Hon’ble   Mr.   Justice
Dipak Misra,  J.  has  given  his  opinion  in  the  same  case,  an  extract
of which is quoted as below:-“4.  Be it  noted,  this  is  not  for  the  first  time that  this Court
is   showin g   its   concern.  It   has   also   been  done  before.   In
Centre   for   Enquiry   into   Health   and   Allied   Them es
(CEHAT)  and   others   v.   Union  of   India   and   others1,   the
two- Judge Bench comme nced the judgme nt stating that the
practi ce  of  female  infantici de  still  prevail s  despite  the  fact
that   the   gentle   touch   of   a   daughte r   and   her   voice   has   a
soothing  effect  on  the  parents .   The  Court  also  comme nted
on  the   immor al  and  unethical  part   of   it   as  well   as   on   the
involvement   of   the   qualified   and   unqualified  doctors   or
compounders   to   abort   the   foetus   of   a   girl   child.   It   is
apposite to state here that certain directions were given in
the s aiddecision.
5.   Female   foeticide   has   its   roots   in   the   social   thinking
which   is   fundamenta lly   based   on   certain   erroneous
notion s,   ego-centric   traditions,   pervert   perception   of
societal norms, and obsession with ideas which are tota lly
indi vidualistic   sans   the   collective   good.   All   involved   in
female foeticide deliberatel y forget to realize thatwhen the
foetus   of   a   girl   child   is   destroy ed,   a   woman   of   future   is
crucified.   To   put   it   differently,   the   present   generation
invites  the sufferings on its own and also sows the seeds of
suffering   for   the   future   generation,   as   in   the   ultimate
eventuate , the sex ratio gets affected  and leads to manifold
social   problems.  I   may   hasten   to   add   that   no   awareness
campaign  can  ever  be  compl ete  unless   there  is   real  focus
14
on   the   prow ess   of   women   and   the   need   for   women
empowe rment.
6.   On   many   an   occasion   this   Court   has   expressed   its
anguish  over  this  problem  in   many  a  realm.  Dealing  with
the   unfortunate   tradition   of   demand   of   dowr y   from   the
girl’s   parents   at   the   time   of   marriag e   despite   the   same
being  a   criminal  offence,   a   two-Judge  Bench   in   State  of
H.P.   v.   Nikku   Ram   and   others   has   expressed   its   agony
thus : -“Dowr y,   dowry   and   dowry.   This   is   the   painf ul
repetition   which   confronts ,   and   at   times   haunts,
many parents of a girl child in this holy land of ours
where,   in   good   old   days   the   belief   was   :   [“Yatra
naryastu  pujyante  ramante  tatra  dewatah” ]   (where
woman  is   worshipped,  there   is   abode  of   God).  We
have   mentioned   about   dowr y   thrice,   becaus e   this
dema nd   is   made   on   three   occasion s:   (i)   before
marriage; (ii) at thetime of marriage; and (iii) after
the   marriage .   Greed   being   limitles s,   the   demands
become   insatiable   in   many   cases,   followed   by
torture on the girl, leading to eithe r suicide in some
cases or murder in s ome.”
The aforesaid passa ge clearly reflects the deg ree of
anguish of  this Court  in regard to  the  treatment meted out
to the w omen  in this country .
7. It is not out of place to state here that the restricted and
constricted  thinking  with  regard  to   a  girl   child  eventually
leads   to   female   foeticide.   A   foetus   in   the   womb,  becaus e
she is like ly to be born as a girl child, is not allowed to see
the   mother   earth.   In   M.C.  Mehta   v.   State   of   Tamil  Nadu
and   others,   a   thre e-Judge  Bench,   while   dealing   with  the
magnitude   of   the   problem   in   engagement   of   the   child
labo ur   in   variou s   hazardous   factories   or   mines,   etc.,
speaking  through   Hansaria,   J.,   commenced  the   judgment
thus :-“I am the  child.
All the wordwaitsformy coming.
All the earth watche s with inte restto s ee
what Ishall become.
Civilizat ion ha ngs in the bal ance.
For wh atIam, the w orldof tomo rrow wil l
be.
I am the child.
You holdin y our handmy destiny.
15
You determine, l argely, wh ether I shall
succeed  or fail,
Giveme, Ipray y ou, thes e thing s that make
for happiness.
Train me, Ibeg y ou, that I may be a
blessing to th e world.”
8. The aforesaid linesfrom Mamie Gene Cole were treated
as  an  appea l   by  this  Court  and  the  Bench  reproduced  the
famous  line  from William  Wordsworth  “child  is  the  father
of  the  man”.  I  have  reproduced   the same  to  highlight  that
this   Court   has  laid   special  empha sis   on  the   term  “child”
as   a   child   feels   that   the   entire   world   waits   for   his/he r
coming.   A   female   child,   as   stated   earlier,   becomes   a
woman. Its life-spark  cannot  be exting uished  in the womb,
for   such   an   act   would   certainly   bring   disaster   to   the
society.  On  such   an   act   the   collective   can   neither   laugh
today nor tomo rrow. There shall be tea rs and tear s all the
way   because   eventua lly   the   spirit   of   humanity   is
comatos ed.
9. Vishwakavi Rabindranath  Tagore, while speaking about
a child, had said  thus : -“Every  child  come s   with  the   message  that   God  is   not   yet
discouraged of man.”
10.   Long   back,   speaking   about   human   baby,   Charles
Dickenshad saidth us :-“Every  baby  born   into   the   world   is   a   finer   one   than   the
last.”
11.Awoman has toberegardedas an equal partner in the
life  of   a  man.  It  has  to  be  borne  in  mind  that  she  has  also
the   equa l   role   in   the   society,   i.e.,   thinking,  partici pating
and   leadership.   The   legislature   has   broug ht   the   present
piece   of   legislation   with   an   intention   to   provide   for
prohibit ion of  sex  selection before  or after conception   and
for   regulation   of   pre-nata l   diagnostic  techniques  for   the
purpose s   of   detecting  genetic   abno rmalities   or   metabolic
disorders   or   chromo soma l   abnorm alities   or   certain
cong enital  malformations  or   sex-linked  disorders  and   for
the   prevention   of   their   misuse   for   sex   determination
leading  to   female   foeticide.  The  purpos e   of   the   enactment
can   only   be   actua lised   and   its   object   fruitfu lly   realized
when   the   autho rities   under   the   Act   carry   out   their
functions  with  devotion,  dedicat ion   and   commitment  and
further   there   is   awakened   awareness   with   regard   to   the
role ofwomen in a s ociety.
16
12.  It   would  not   be  an  exaggeration  to   say   that  a  society
that   does   not   respect  its   women  cann ot   be   treated   to   be
civilized.   In   the   first   part   of   the   last   centur y   Swami
Vivekanand  had said: -“Just  as  a  bird  could  not  fly   with  one  wing  only,  a  nation
wouldnot ma rch forwardif th e wom en are left behind.”
13. When a female foeticide takes  place, every woman who
mothers   the   child   must  remember   that   she   is   killing   her
own  child  despite  being  a   mother.  That  is   what  abortion
would  mean  in  social  terms.  Abortion  of  a  female  child  in
its conceptual  eventua lity leads to killing of a woman. Law
prohibits  it;   scriptures  forbid  it;   philo sophy  condem ns   it;
ethics  deprecate  it,   morality  decries  it   and   social  science
abhor s it.HenrikIbs en empha sized on the indiv idualism of
woman. John Milton treated her to be the best of all God’s
work.  In  this  conte xt,  it  will  be appropriate  to  quote a few
lines   from   Democracy   in   America   by   Alexis   De
Tocqueville: -“If   I   were   asked   …   to   what   the   singular   prosperity  and
growing strength of that people [Am ericans] ought mainly
to   be  attributed,  I   should   reply:   to  the  superiority  of   their
women.”
23. It  is   unfortunate  that  in  a  civilized  country  like  India  some
people   for  their   petty   gains   are   using   modern  technology  for  sex
determination,whichultimatelyleadsto abortionoffemale foetus.
We are pained  to  observe  that  the qualified and  registered doctors
running  ultrasound  clinics  are   using  the   modern  developments  in
technology to determinethe sexof the child in womb,which leads
to   sex   selection   abortion   of   female   foetus.     In   the   last   about   10
years with the availability of advanced ultrasonogrphy techniques,
the  doctors  in  our  country  have  been  responsible  for  abortions  of
about   10   million   women,   killing   female   children   in   womb.   This
mass   carnage   of   female   foetus   in   womb   has   made   the   Indian
doctors   responsible   for   the   crimes,   which   has   no   parallel   in   the
history   of   modern   medical   science.   The   number   of   deaths   of
female children   in womb (female foeticide) in the last decade has
exceeded  the   total   deaths  in   the   first   and   second  world   war.   The
17
Indian  Legislature  enacted DNDT  Act  in  1994  and  then  amended
it   in   1996   regulating   pre-conception   genetic   clinics   and
counselling, and genetic laboratories. The executive has, however,
failed to implementtheAct in itstruespirit.  Wemayobservethat
as   directed   by   the   Supreme   Court   the   sealing   of   the   clinics   and
cancellation   of   the   license   by   itself   is   not   sufficient   deterrent
unless  registration  of  such  doctors  with  Medical   Council   of  India
or   Indian   Medicine   Council   of   India   as   the   case   may   be   is
cancelled   and   they   are   prosecuted,   for   carrying   out   sex
determination.  We  are  sad  to  observe  that  except  for  few  cases  in
Maharashtra   and   Delhi   the   executive   in   the   State   of   U.P.   made
responsible   for   enforcement   of   PC   &   PNDT   Act   has   not   taken
effective   steps   to   seal   the   clinics   and   to   prosecute   the   doctors.
Recently   the   Maharashtra   Medical   Council   has   suspended
registrationof6 doctorsforfloutingguidelines ofthePC& PNDT
Act   and   2   doctors   have   been   sent   notice   for  violating   the   Act   in
accordance  with  the  report  of  Shri   Anoop  Satphale  while  charges
have been framed against 69 doctors, 8 cases were sent to Ayurved
Council   and  7   have  been  directed  to   Homeopathic  Council.     The
Maharashtra  Medical   Body  has  cancelled  registration  of  about   66
doctors   and   cases   were   filed   against   400   for   violation   of   PC   &
PNDT Act.
24. In   the   circumstances,  while   upholding   the   order   of   the
District Magistrate, who has made a commendable job in carrying
out   inspections,   sealing   clinics   and   cancelling   registrations   on
finding   gross   violations   of   the   provisions   of   PC   &   PNDT   Act,
1994   and   Rules   of   1996,   after   giving   notice   to   the   ultrasound
clinics, we  direct  him    to  refer the petitioner’s  case  to the Medical
Council of India, for suspension and  for  taking disciplinary action
for   misconduct   for   cancelling   his   registration   and   to   initiating
criminal   action   against   him   for   carrying   out   sex   determination
tests;   failing   to   maintain   and   furnish   records   and   in   submitting
prescribed Form-F in accordance with the provisions of the Rules,
18
and   for   carrying   out   ultrasonography   tests,   on   young   females   of
reproductive   age     conclusively   indicating   that   there   tests   were
carried   out   for   sex   determination,   which   is   a   punishable   offence
under PC & PNDT Act.
25. The   writ   petition   is  dismissed  with   the   observations   and
directions   as   above,   which   will   be   carried   out   by   the   District
Magistrate within a period of one month from the date the order is
communicated to him.
26. A  copy   of   the   order   shall   be   given   to   the   Chief   Standing
Counsel, Government of U.P. for compliance.
Dt.17.05.2013
SP/

allahabadhicourt.kushinagar

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