Beed sex selection case: Court grants bail to woman doctor


 

Press Trust of India / Beed September 25, 2012,

 

A local court today granted bail to Dr Saraswati Munde, who has been charge sheeted along with her husband Dr Sudam Munde and 15 others in a  sex election  case.

District sessions court Judge S T Mahajan granted her bail on a surety of Rs 3 lakh and certain conditions.

The court has warned her not to pressurise any witnesses in the case and refrain from carrying out medical practice until the case is solved. The court has also asked her to remain present at police station every alternate day.

Dr Munde was given bail on the ground that she has spent 105 days in jail and was no longer required in custody.

Public prosecutor Ashok Kulkarni told PTI that they would appeal in the Bombay High Court against the bail.

According to sources, she would, however, continue to remain in jail in connection with the illegal sex determination case of 2010. The doctor couple is currently lodged in Nashik district jail.

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

On May 19, the couple had secured bail from Parli court and went into hiding from May 23. The couple, absconding for over three weeks, had finally surrendered to the local police on June 17.

Others, who have been charge sheeted in the case, include the doctor couple’s son Venkatesh, Jalgaon-based Dr Rahul Kolhe, husband of the deceased woman Mahadev Patekar and members of the hospital staff.

Maharashtra government has appointed Ujwal Nikam as special public prosecutor to represent the case.

 

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Maharashtra -21 docs in trouble for flouting sex test rules #goodnews


 | Aug 8, 2012, 02.48AM IST

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MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Medical Council(MMC) has suspended the registration of 21 doctors and warned another 12 for their alleged involvement in sex determination tests, which they conducted by flouting the rules under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.

To practise in the state, all doctors have to be registered with the MMC. “The council received 50 proposals for initiating action against erring doctors. Registration of 21 doctors were suspended and 12 doctors were let off after being warned against conducting sex determination tests. Action against 17 is either pending with or being processed by the MMC ,” a senior health official said.

“If the MMC suspends a doctor’s registration, then s/he cannot practice for five years or till court gives him/her a clean chit. The doctor’s membership will be permanently terminated, if s/he is convicted,” said Dr Kishore Tawri, president of MMC that has the power to suspend doctors. , temporarily or permanently.

If a doctor is caught flouting the Act a second time, his/her registration is supposed to be cancelled and he/she can never practise.

Most of the suspended doctors are from rural Maharashtra, especially Beed and Jalgaon, which figure on the list of districts having poor child sex ratio. According to the census, the state’s child sex ratio in 2011 was 833 girls per 1,000 boys against 913 per girls per 1,000 boys in 2001. The worst record is that of Beed, which registered a drop of 93 girls in the past decade; from 894 girls in 2001, it went down to 801 in 2011.

Some senior health officials are displeased with the MMC for letting off 12 doctors without taking stern action. “Letting them go with a mere warning is not in good taste,” an official said. Refuting the allegation, Tawri said, “Doctors who were given warning and allowed to practise had flouted rules in 2001. The PCPNDT Act came in force in 2003. So, the council had no choice but to let them go.” giving warning to these 12 doctors,”

On Tuesday, a meeting was held in Mantralaya to take stock of the implementation of the PCPNDT Act in the state. It was chaired by public health minister Suresh Shetty and attended by additional chief secretary (health) T C Benjamin and senior BMC and home department officials.

“Ways to curbsex selection  in the state were reviewed,” Shetty said.The female foeticide grabbed headlines and attention of the politicians to the issue after a doctor couple from Beed district— Dr Sudam Munde and his wife Dr Saraswati were found guilty of conducting illegal abortion in their clinic. The Munde couple has been booked for culpable homicide in connection with death of a woman while undergoing abortion at their hospital in May, this year.

Beed Doctor duo slapped with culpable homicide – Illegal abortion case


, TNN | Jun 19, 2012,

MUMBAI: A day after Beed doctors—Sudam Munde and his wife Saraswati—surrendered before the Parli police, the state government is contemplating hiring Ujjwal Nikamas the public prosecutor to argue the state’s case against the couple.The Parli magistrate court on Monday sent the doctor couple, accused of conducting illegal abortions, to police custody till June 30.

The police have booked the couple for culpable homicide under section 304 of the IPC. However, the health department has asked the police department to also add the charge of death due to negligence under section 304 (A) of the IPC against the couple.

On Monday, public health minister Suresh Shetty met principal secretary (law) Vijay Achaliya, health secretary Bhushan Gagrani and family welfare commissioner Vikas Gharge. The meeting was held to build a strong case against the couple. According to health department officials, hiring a top lawyer for the case was discussed at the meeting. “Ujjwal Nikam is one of the names being considered by the department. Also, appointing a senior lady police officer to conduct further investigations was discussed,” an official said.

Senior NCP leader and PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal too has demanded slapping of stringent sections against the Munde couple.

Spelling more trouble for the Mundes and those who helped them, the health ministry has decided to also ask the police to find out who sheltered the couple, who were on the run for the last one month. “Cops should take the driver, who brought the couple to the police station, into custody and find out where all the doctors visited over the last three weeks,” a senior Mantralaya official said. “The government has also decided to club all cases against Munde to prepare a stronger case,” the official added.

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.

Medical council suspends 13 docs over sex tests


TNN | Jun 17, 2012, 04.24AM IST

MUMBAI: The MaharashtraMedical Council (MMC) on Saturday suspended 13 doctors against whom the state government had initiated action under the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.”These are temporary suspensions till the charges against them are proved in court. If found guilty, their membership will be terminated,” said Dr Shivkumar Utture, an executive member of the MMC.

The state had initiated action against the 13 doctors for allegedly conducting sex-determination tests and sex-selective abortions.

The MMC is also seeking more information on two doctors from Mumbai in this connection. “One of these doctors is a homoeopath and the other is not registered with the MMC. We have asked the government for more information on them,” he said. The MMC can suspend doctors only after a chargesheet is filed against them in courts.

The suspended doctors hail from Beed, Osmanabad, Jalgaon and Pune. “Some of them are gynaecologists while others are radiologists,” said Dr Utture.

The MMC has the power to temporarily or permanently suspend doctors. Incidentally, the MMC suspended five doctors a few months ago.

After a large number of sex-selective abortions cases were reported from Beed and surrounding areas, the state started stringent checks to ensure that the rules laid down under the PCPNDT Act were followed.

Incidentally, the MMC has not yet received any information about the Munde couple, Dr Sudam and Saraswati, from Beed. But the MMC has taken suo motu action against the couple on the basis of media reports and suspended the couple.

Dr Utture said, “We issued a showcause notice to the couple, but they did not respond to it. We do not even have any information about the court cases against them. The couple has been absconding.”

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