#Rajasthan -Headless court: No judge to hear PCPNDT cases


DNA | Jan 10, 2013, 04:31AM IST

Jaipur:In July last year, a wired media, screaming activists and Aamir Khan’s final cut all jolted the CM into announcing seven special courts in each of the divisional headquarters for “speedy disposal” of cases booked under the PCPNDT Act to check sex selection . The agitation was quelled. The media moved on. The activists moved on. And Aamir Khan moved out.
A visit to the ‘special’ PCPNDT court in Jaipur seven months later, is instructive.
The court does not have a presiding officer. In simple terms, it has no judge to hear the cases, for the last one month or so. “Transferred, but not replaced,” comes the reply. Of the 130 cases registered so far, none of them pertain to the relatives or parents who went in for sex-selective abortion. All the cases – against sonography centres or doctors for not maintaining records, formats under the Act and those caught in decoy operations – are in the initial stage of “pre-charge” or “evidence”. That means, far from reaching any conclusion.
There is one assistant public prosecutor, himself on additional charge from another court, who has to handle the cases single handedly. This includes calling witnesses for summons from anywhere in the five districts falling under Jaipur division, using his own phone. And he has to do all this without any table or chair.
“The doctors bring senior lawyers, with swanky laptops. We don’t even have a phone, leave alone computer. There is no place to sit, either for me or people. The witnesses coming from other districts not only bear hardships, but also all the expenses,” said Ramesh Kumar Atal, the sole assistant public prosecutor in PCPNDT court. Hearings are fixed weekly, he added.
A PCPNDT Bureau of Investigation was set up under the medical and health department for “effective implementation of the Act”. 120 news posts were created. They are all lying vacant.
In the PCPNDT cell of the department, the staff is working overtime in collating, tallying and feeding information online. The small team looks surprisingly efficient and organized for a government department. All of them, save the deputy director, are contractual staff.

NHRC still awaiting States’ report on pre-natal sex selection


NEW DELHI, October 25, 2012

STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu

Recognising pre-natal sex selection as an unacceptable form of gender discrimination, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had asked key States across the country to submit a report on implementation of the Pre-conception & Pre-natal Diagnostics Techniques (PCPNDT) Regulations and Prevention of Misuse Act (Amendments in 2004) based on a set of recommendations issued by the NHRC. A reporting format was also sent to all stakeholders.

But over a year after the exercise was undertaken, the NHRC has now been forced to issue reminders stating that “required information and action taken information is still awaited from various States and Union Territories”.

The NHRC had undertaken a research project titled “Research and Review to strengthen PCPNDT (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act’s implementation across key States”. The main objective of the study was to identify impediments in implementation of the Act in the States. The Commission had considered the report and directed that the report be sent to Central/State governments for action on its recommendations.

An NHRC letter dated September 14, 2011, noted that it had sent a copy of the national report to State governments for taking necessary action and keeping the Commission informed. “We have not received any response from the States and have now issued instructions so that the action taken report on the recommendations contained in the national report in the specified format in consolidated form for the entire State/ Union Territories is sent to NHRC at the earliest,” noted an NHRC letter dated October 9.

The highlights of the recommendation include ensuring effective implementation of the Act related activities, organising workshops/meetings for proper record maintenance of clinics and courts, encouraging authorities to undertake decoy operations and train them to execute the operations, creating special cell consisting of magistrate and lawyers who are well conversant with the Act and looking into bringing in harsher penalties as deterrent punishment commensurate with the nature of the crime.

 

Sex Selection -Illegal ads on #Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT


To

Corporate communication

Google, India

2 November 2012

Complaint—Regarding illegal ads on Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT

The Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act has banned the promotion or advertisement of services that allows one to choose the sex of one’s baby. Yet, Google is carrying advertisements of  the link of IVF that leads to websites that offer these services. Each time a person clicks on the ad, these companies makes money.

The Indian law against sex selection is comprehensive.   Section 22 defines advertisement and Section 26 states the penalties for violation by Companies.  They are given below:

Section 22:  Prohibition of advertisement relating to pre-natal determination of sex and punishment for contravention.

1.    No person, organization, Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic, including clinic, laboratory or centre having ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or any other technology capable of undertaking determination of sex of foetus or sex selection shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement, in any form, including Internet, regarding facilities of pre-natal determination of sex or sex selection before conception available at such centre, laboratory, clinic or at any other place.
2.    No person or organization including Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement in any manner regarding pre-natal determination or preconception selection of sex by any means whatsoever, scientific or otherwise.
3.    Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “advertisement” includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or any other document including advertisement through Internet or any other media in electronic or print form and also includes any visible representation made by means of any hoarding, wall-painting, signal, light, sound, smoke or gas.

26. Offences by companies.

(1) Where any offence, punishable under this Act has been committed  by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence punishable under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,– (a) “company” means anybody corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals, and

(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

The Indian Parliament enacted a special law because the medical community was not self-regulating these serious violations of medical ethics. The practice of sex selection is prohibited while foetal sex determination is regulated.

The PCPNDT Act applies to advertisements and content that advertises sex selection or foetal sex determination  methods/procedures/techniques.  Any form of advertising in India that promotes techniques, products or procedures of sex selection, sex determination is a violation of the law.

In 2008, theSupreme Court of India had served notices to you,  yet  violations of the law continue with impunity and  in response Google had issued a statement saying  “The Google advertising program is managed by a set of policies which we develop based on several factors, including legal requirements and user experience. In India, we do not allow ads for the promotion of prenatal gender determination or preconception sex selection. We take local laws extremely seriously and will review the petition carefully.”

But once again sex selection ads are mushrooming in your search engine in India  and the   continued violation in the Indian Internet space by  your company is  shocking.

Although the google policy when you click here http://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=176072

India

Product Allowed? Details
Dowryrequests  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote dowry requests or the offering or sale of dowry. “Dowry” means any property or valuable security given by the bride to the groom for marriage.
Doctor, lawyer, or accountant services  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads for services offered by doctors, lawyers, or accountants.
Gender or sex selection  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote the pre-natal determination of the gender of a child, or pre-conception selection of sex.
Infant food, milk substitutes, feeding bottles  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote or encourage the use of infant food, milk substitutes, or feeding bottles.

When  you  search of gender selection or sex selection on your search engine  you  get a sponsored ad

wherein you can also order the gender selection kit online

I demand you immediately remove gender /sex selection ads from google search engine in India

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, for Forum against Sex Selection (FASS) Mumbai

cc 1) Director, PNDT Division, New Delhi

2) Cybercrime cell, Mumbai

 

Fast-track courts must for sex test cases, says chief secy


TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Mumbai: Newly appointed chief secretary Jayant Banthia will ask the chief justice of the Bombay high court to set up fast-track courts to try cases registered under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.
Health minister Suresh Shetty said till date 342 cases have been filed under the PCPNDT and MTP acts. There have been convictions in 42 cases while 248 cases are pending in various courts. He said the government would also appoint senior lawyers in the districts to appear in these cases.
“District collectors can suggest the names of two lawyers who they consider to be
women/men of integrity and experts on this issue,” said Shetty. The law and judiciary department would also write to all assistant public prosecutors and government pleaders to maintain utmost sincerity while appearing in these cases.
The health minister said he would hold a meeting on the first Monday of every month to review the progress in the implementation of the act and clear the hurdles, if there was any.
Following the increasing cases of female foeticide being reported in Beed, Latur, Solapur, Wardha and Dhule, the government has been forced to step up its efforts in implementing the act. Thane abortion clinic runs ‘minus licence’
Business goes on as usual at Gopika Nursing Home on Gokhale Road in Thane. Freshly painted signboards outside the “abortion centre” promise prospective patients “total confidentiality”; they declare the rates for abortion and fibroid surgery; and they guarantee to discharge patients within an hour of operation. Nowhere is there any sign of the fact that the clinic’s registration “was cancelled” last year after Dr Umesh Londhe, who runs the place, was filmed in a sting operation agreeing to abort a female foetus after organizing a prenatal sex determination test.
“It is completely illegal as this
nursing home was stripped of its licence. They cannot conduct any medical-related surgery or practice at Gopika Nursing Home. We have cancelled their registration under the Nursing Home Registration Act, 1949,” said Dr R T Kendre, chief medical officer of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
Top civic officials said the nursing home’s registration was cancelled within days of the sting op by voluntary group Lek Ladki and social activist Varsha Deshpande in July last year. “There is no question of revoking the cancellation because the case is pending before a judicial magistrate and we are in the process of filing charges against the doctor,” Dr Kendre said.
“Moreover, on our recommendation, the civil surgeons’ committee cancelled the licence issued to Dr Londhe for conducting abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy,” the civic official said. “The committee has terminated the licence issued under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act on the basis of prima facie evidence with us. In effect, Gopika Nursing Home has been erased from our records.”
Dr Londhe, however, maintained that he had not been informed of any such action against him and is legally within his rights to practice. “After the sting operation, I had closed the nursing home for some months. However, I have started my practice again here as there is no order or notice from any agency preventing me from doing so. At least I have not been informed about the deregistration of the nursing home or cancellation of the MTP licence,” Dr Londhe claimed.
He said he was still in possession of his original licence to run the nursing home and had in fact annually applied to the TMC for licence renewal. “I also recently… paid the fire brigade a fee when it came for an official inspection of my premises,” Dr Londhe said.
Dr Kendre, however, said that all original papers related to the clinic have been presented in court. “He is misleading all. He can practice since his registration given by the Medical Council of India is still valid. The law states that unless charges are framed against a practicing doctor he cannot be stripped of his registration. We are in the process of framing charges against him and after a hearing on June 13 we will notify the MCI to initiate action against him,” he added.

UNHEALTHY PRACTICE: Gopika Nursing Home’s registration was cancelled after a sting op showed Dr Umesh Londhe agreeing to abort a female foetus
PS

Over 350 private sonography clinics stop operation in Jaipur


 

Press Trust of India / Jaipur May 22,

 

Nearly 350 private sonography clinics in the district today stopped operation in protest against “arbitrary attitude” of Rajasthan health department while carrying out crackdown against female foeticide.

Clinics in Jaipur did not conduct tests on pregnant women today whereas sonography centres in other districts would join them tomorrow.

“It is not a strike nor agitation, but a painful decision we are bound to take due to arbitrary attitude of the government which in the name of violation of PCPNDT act is targeting innocent doctors,” Vijay Kapoor, secretary of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Society said in a press conference here today.

“In the last few months, the department has taken action against several innocent doctors in the name of violation of the act, Pre conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex selection) 1994,” he said.

Expressing support on the need to stop female foeticide, Kapoor said those found guilty should be suspended, however, the government should be impartial in its approach.

“We are also against sex determination and all the doctors are not involved in this illegal practice. Those who are not indulged in this are also being targeted by the department unnecessarily which is objectionable so we have no option but to stop functioning sonography machines,” he said.

Sanjay Arya, president of the society said private sonography centres in other districts will not conduct test from tomorrow for indefinite period.

“We are getting confirmation from private doctors in other districts and they will join us from tomorrow,” he said.

Doctors are being targeted even for a clerical mistake. It is not justified,” he said.

When contacted, an official of health department denied the charge saying that checking of sonography centres, wherever it took place, was impartial.

Beed’s Doc Death who fed foetuses to his dog


Cover Story, Mumbai Mirror

 

Gruesome twist in  sex selection  case

Case given to Crime Branch after premilinary inquiry

 Santosh Andhale

Posted On Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 03:57:00 AM
 

The doctor from Beed who was booked in a female foeticide case last week used to destroy evidence by feeding the foetuses to his pet dogs, the state health department has found.

The health minister has asked the Crime Branch to take over investigations after shocking evidence was found against the accused, Dr Sundam Munde, during preliminary inquiries.

This is the first time that a doctor booked under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) will be investigated by the Crime Branch and not the police.

Beed, incidentally, has the worst child sex ratio in Maharashtra (801 girls per 1000 boys) as per the 2011 census. The issue of female foeticide has been widely discussed after a television show highlighted the menace a couple of weeks ago.

On May 18, Vijaymala Patekar, 28-years-old and six months pregnant, was admitted to Dr Munde’s abortion clinic in the Parli tehsil, but died during the procedure. According to the sources, Patekar had four daughters, and did not want another girl child.

While Dr Munde and his wife Dr Sarwasti Munde were booked under two sections of the IPC as well as the PCPNDT Act, the Crime Branch has also been asked to probe reports that the accused used his influence to continue practicing despite losing his license two years ago in another female foeticide case.

State health minister Suresh Shetty told Mumbai Mirror they were taking the case extremely seriously. “One of the officials told me that Dr Munde had four dogs, and that he used to feed them the foetuses after performing abortions to destroy evidence,” Shetty said.

“This doctor is notorious. Two years ago, health department officials sealed his sonography machine and cancelled his operating license for carrying out illegal sex determination tests and abortions. Despite this, he has managed to continue his practice.”

Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Dattatray Mandlik, SP, Beed, said the accused had been booked under sections 304 A and 201 of the IPC (causing death by negligence, destroying evidence and providing false information). “There are two or three past cases already against this doctor.  We are investigating reports that he used to feed the foetuses to his dogs,” Mandlik said.

Two years ago, Dr Munde and his wife had been caught in a sting operation conducted by Lekh Ladki Abhiyan, an NGO working against female foeticide. Varsha Despande, its chief functionary, told Mumbai Mirror that though the clinic’s license had been revoked and sonography machines had been sealed, Dr Munde was back in business within less than a year. “In fact, the couple was booked in a second case in June 2011 after a foetus was found on their farm,” she said.

Deshpande and her colleagues met Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan on Monday, demanding the case against Dr Munde be heard outside the Marathwada region because of “the political clout he wielded there”.

The request is likely to be taken seriously, with the health minister confirming that they would approach the High Court this time. “We will pursue this case for as long as it takes to bring the accused to book,” he said.

Mukhbir Yojna scripts a success story in state


JAIPUR: The Mukhbir Yojna, which was launched in January to intensify the fight against sex selection, has now started paying dividends. In one of its major achievements, a doctor was caught red-handed for alleged involvement in sex determination in Jaipur‘s Vaishali Nagar area on Wednesday.

An official of the Pre-conception and pre natal diagnostic techniques (PCPNDT) cell said, “The Mukhbir Yojna has started showing results as we are getting tip offs on illegal practices. The doctor who was caught red-handed was an outcome of the Mukhbir Yojna.”

The government introduced the Yojna under which a person providing confirmed information about the involvement of a doctor or a medical staff in sex determination will get a reward of Rs 25,000. A reward of equal prize money has also been set aside for those who can give information about unregistered and illegal sonography machines.

The official said a day before the raid (on Tuesday), the PCPNDT cell received information about the doctor’s involvement in sex determination.

( How long will this work , thats the question )

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