Mitu loses 11-year fight against sex determination
Aradhna Wal @dna
|New Delhi: A year after a Delhi trial court struck a blow to Dr Mitu Khurana’s hopes, the Supreme Court dismissed her case. In 2008, Dr Khurana filed a case against her husband Dr Kamal Khurana, her mother-in-law and another member of his family, for allegedly colluding with a hospital official to determine the gender of her foetuses while she was pregnant in 2005. Khurana was then pressurised into undergoing an abortion once it was determined she was carrying girls.On September 16, the Supreme Court dismissed Dr Khurana’s petition against the Delhi high court judgement that ruled against her, reportedly after a five-minute hearing, bringing an end to Khurana’s almost 11-year struggle for justice.
According to dna reports from last year, Khurana, in her petition, alleged that her in-laws “pressured her continually” to determine the sex of the foetuses. When she resisted, they allegedly “tricked her” into being admitted to Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi, where they allegedly conspired with doctors to get a sex determination test done.
In her complaint, Khurana said her in-laws fed her cake with egg, which she is allergic to, making her ill.
According to lawyer Anu Narula, who interacted with the media along with Khurana on Tuesday, the high court judgement, which was upheld by the Supreme Court, is “erroneous and full of oversight”. Narula told dna the high court dismissed Khurana’s case on two counts. It was barred by limitation as according to law, a case has to be filed under the PCPNDT Act either three years from the date of offence or from that of knowledge. Khurana found out about the ultrasound in March 2008 after she stumbled on hospital papers. Mitu wrote to the national commission for women, who referred her to the union health ministry, which directed her to complain to the district appellate authority – a process Khurana followed up on. Also, the judgement says Khurana did not give mandatory 15-day notice to the DAA before approaching the court. “The notice is part of the pile of court papers and has been overlooked by the judge,” said Narula.
“She has been dismissed as a cantankerous petitioner who picks fights with her husband, her in-laws and the doctors,” added Narula.
Narula and advocate Indira Unninayar, who was also present at the press conference, said the judgement had only taken into account the case made by one of the accused, Dr Harsh Mahajan – the owner of the Jaipur Golden Hospital. The lawyers said Dr Mahajan called himself a Padma Shri awardee who would not be held responsible for the fact that the hospital was not a registered facility and that Khurana’s form F – the crucial document that carries a woman’s consent to an ultrasound — was missing. A missing form F is a punishable offence.
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