Why 248 of 342 sex selection cases still pending in Maharashtra ?

Source: Alifiya Khan, DNA   |   Last Updated (21/06/12)

Pune: Even as court proceedings have started against tainted doctor couple from Beed, Sudam and Saraswati Munde, and the state government has promised to fast track the case, the issue of pendency of cases pertaining to sex selection  has once again come to light.

Of the 342 cases filed against doctors for violations of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, only 94 cases have been disposed of, while 248 are still pending.

Amongst the 342 cases, while only 31 cases involve abortion or decoys who exposed doctors offering such services, 242 cases relate to non-maintenance of records.

Though 42 convictions under the PCPNDT Act in Maharashtra is the highest in the country, activists allege that many cases were fought in a half-hearted manner prompting the state health minister Suresh Shetty to announce that cases where doctors were acquitted will be re-examined and appeals will be filed in higher courts.

“Of the 42 convictions, 29 doctors in 26 cases were awarded imprisonment, while 16 got away with fines. Of the total number of cases filed, highest have been in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) area where 40 cases were filed, of which 23 are pending,” said Asaram Khade, assistant director of the state family welfare bureau.

Admitting that pendency of cases were high, Khade said that special efforts were being taken by the health ministry to fast track PCPNDT cases.

“After the recent announcement of trying PCPDNT cases in fast track courts, the chief secretary met with the chief justice of Bombay high court to discuss the matter. Even district collectors have been notified that if public prosecutors have been overloaded with cases, names of government lawyers be suggested to take up PCPNDT cases,” said a senior official from the family welfare department.


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