Beed Doctor couple surrenders- Illegal abortions

Travelled to seven states and changed 20 sim cards while on run

Published: Sunday, Jun 17, 2012, 21:23 IST | Updated: Monday, Jun 18, 2012, 0:24 IST
Place: Beed | Agency: PTI and TNN

Late on Sunday evening, the doctor couple involved in the illegal abortions taking place in Beed district surrendered to the Parli police, after being on the run for close to a month. Dr Sudam Munde and his wife Saraswati, infamous for running Munde Hospital at Parli taluka in Beed, which performed rampant illegal abortions, allegedly used to send pregnant women to a Jalgaon doctor to determine the gender of the unborn child, before aborting it.

“Dr Sudam Munde and his wife Dr Saraswati booked under section 304 of IPC for culpable homicide surrendered before the Parli city police at around 9 PM,” police inspector Ramrao Gadekar of Parli City police station said.

Earlier in the day, police searched the house of the doctor couple at Parli, sources said.

The couple is accused of carrying out abortion on sugarcane worker Vijaymala Patekar, who was in her second trimester, at their hospital in Parli on May 18, which resulted in her death.

On May 19, the couple had secured bail from Parli court, and went into hiding from May 23, they said.

The bail was subsequently cancelled by the sessions court in Ambejogai on May 26 on petition of the Beed district health department in a 2010 case under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.

Varsha Deshpande of NGO Lekladki Abhiyan had through a sting operation exposed that sex-determination tests were being conducted at Munde’s hospital in 2010, following which the doctors had been booked under the PCPNDT Act.

The Parli court on June 3 declared the couple “absconding”.

The duo then moved the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court for relief which upheld the local court order on June 15.

Radiologists must get chance to clarify: Bombay HC

Published: Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 8:00 IST
By Mustafa Plumber | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Bombay high court has stated that any competent authority filing a case against a radiologist under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection Act), 1994, should allow ample opportunity to the doctor to explain his or her stand before registering and offence. Further, the authority should consider taking legal advice before registering such a case.

These observations were made by a single bench of Justice AV Nirgude, which quashed a criminal complaint against 60-year-old doctor Uma Shankarrao Rachewad, who was charged under various sections of the Act.

The bench said, “When the competent authority visits a clinic, after inspection s/he should record the statement of the person against whom s/he intends to file the case. In such a statement, such a person would get ample opportunity to put forward his or her explanation. The competent authority under this Act should consider each case on its merits, examine it meticulously, preferably with the help of a legal advisor, and then file a complaint in the court.”

According to the case registered against Dr Rachewad, it was alleged that on March 31, 2011, when officials visited his clinic, they saw that a number of F forms were filled out with “NA” (not applicable); forms pertaining to cases examined between March 8 and March 26 were not filled; and consent /declaration forms relating to cases examined between April 2009 and March 2010 were not present. Moreover, the clinic did not have signboards stating that pre-natal sex tests were not carried out there.

The court noted that the “NA” on the F forms was justified. Furthermore, it was observed that when the officials visited the clinic and did not find the consent /declaration forms, they should have asked for an explanatio

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.

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