Court tells Centre to clear stand on sex determination tests

Rosy Sequeira, TNN

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Union government and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation to explain their stand on petitions filed by six Navi Mumbai diagnostic clinics whose sonography machines were seized in June 2011. Their licences were also suspended by the NMMC medical officer, the appropriate authority under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act for irregularities in maintaining records.

A division bench of Justice D D Sinha and Justice V K Tahilramani was hearing petitions by Dr Rahul Wani, Dr Disha Minocha, Dr Anu Vij, Dr Sujeet Dange and Dr Shilpa Patil and Apollo Clinic , urging the court to order the appropriate authority to forthwith release their seized machines. Their appeals before the additional director, health service, were also rejected . They have also challenged the constitutional validity of the Act itself.

Their advocate V M Thorat argued that no notices were issued, no opportunity of hearing given and no reasons were recorded by the appellate authority before suspending their licences. He said there was no ground to exercise exceptional powers under Section 20 (3) and it was also necessary to show that it is done in public interest. “We have not violated anything,” said Thorat, adding that the irregularities were not filling and maintaining the Form F register in the format required.

NMMC’s advocate Sandeep Marne submitted that considering that the Act’s objective is to regulate the use of diagnostic techniques in view of the falling girl child ratio, the NMMC has rightly invoked the exceptional powers in public interest. Since the petitioners have also challenged the constitutional validity of the Act, the judges directed the Union government to file a reply observing that the issue will have a bearing on a larger scale. The hearing has been posted after three weeks.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dr. jagnarain sharma
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 17:33:28

    I congratulate you for your wok on female infanticide
    Dr JN Sharma


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