Three doctors convicted in Maharashtra for violating anti-sex determination law

TOI,MUMBAI: Three doctors on Friday were convicted by a magistrate for failing to maintain proper F-form records.

Dr Varsha Kasturkar (gynaecologist), Dr Aruna Gavde (MBBS) and Dr Dinkar Mule (gynaecologist), practising in Kallam taluka of Osmanabad district in Marathwada region, have been convicted for violating the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. Yunus Kharad, JMFC of Kallam taluka, sentenced the three doctors to a one-month rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on each for not having proper recordsof their patients. The case against these doctors was registered in June 2011.

The PCPNDT (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse, Amendment) Act 2003 was introduced to prevent unscrupulous use of ultrasonography scans to determine the sex of the unborn child. Form F is considered an important tool of the Act because it has every scan’s details.

Dr Ashok Thorat, medical superintendent of the rural hospital in Kallam, stated that during the ‘save the girl child campaign’, the department found that these three doctors had failed to maintain proper records of the patients.

“A case was registered against the erring doctors. The court too found these doctors guilty and subsequently directed to send these doctors for one month rigorous imprisonment and to fine them Rs 5,000,” Thorat said. “The department will even recommend to Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) to cancel the registration of these doctors,” Thorat added.

According to Mantralaya officials, this is the first conviction of a doctor under the PCPNDT Act this year. Last year, of the 314 cases which had been pending for several years, 78 were finalized, and there was conviction in 32 cases. Public health minister Suresh Shetty said, “Such verdicts from the judiciary against erring doctors will work as deterrent for those who are involved in illegal sex determination.”

However, Jignesh Thakker, general secretary, Indian Radiological and Imaging Association, differed on this point. “Not filling the F form is an offence. Stern action should be initiated against the doctors who do not comply with the norms. But having incomplete F forms merely cannot be the parameter to decide whether he/she (the doctor) is involved in illegal sex determination.”

Last year, following reports of the declining sex ratio in the state and cases of two female foetuses being found in Nulla in Beed district of Marathwada region, Shetty had directed his officials to crack down on sonography and abortion centres in the state, especially in districts having poor child sex ratio.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Prof. Vibhuti Patel
    Mar 11, 2012 @ 10:51:39

    This is quite encouraging. Fionally, the state is showing political will to book the violator of PCPNDT Act !!


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