Female foeticide: No legal action against 29 sealed ultrasound centres
TNN, Jan 20, 2011, 09.34pm IST
KANPUR: At a time when the count had come down from 869 females to 1,000 males in 2001 and further down to 557 in 2008 due to rampant female foeticide, the district administration had fail to implement the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act, (Prohibition of sex determination) 1994.
No legal action has been taken against the 29 ultrasound centres which were sealed in April 2010. However, the reports prepared by the advisory committee has been submitted to the district magistrate. The issue came to light during a seminar organised by district health authority (DAC).
Legal adviser of DAC Manish Kumar Sharma, who was present in the seminar on `Female foeticide' spoke about the reports submitted to the DM. "The reports were submitted a few months ago but no action has been taken by the officials. No case has been filed against the genetic counselling centres for violating the norms," said Sharma.
The district administration launched a drive against the genetic counselling centres violating the provision of PCPNDT Act. As many as 67 out of 192 ultrasound centres in the city were served show cause notice in March. As many as 29 centres that had not responded to the notice and failed to explain the stand lost the licence on April 21 on the orders of former district magistrate Amrit Abhijaat.
Notably, 17 ultrasound machines were sealed due to faults in `Form f' to specify the purpose behind ultrasound test during pregnancy. While the proprietors of the remaining nine centres gave an unsatisfactory response.
Significantly, the district administration had sufficient evidence to register cases against the ultrasound centre. It may be due to political clout or links of the offenders with `higher ups' that no legal action has been taken against the genetic counselling centre.
Neelam Singh from Lucknow said: "The rapid pace with which the genetic counselling centres have increased in the city has drastically affected the child sex ratio. The mushrooming of ultrasound centres in the state has led to the dip in the number of female births."
There are 3,835 registered ultrasound clinics in 71 districts of the state, of which 172 are run by government and more than 3,000 are in the private sector. Shockingly, around 2,283 private centres were found to be run by untrained professionals and 11 by Ayurvedic and homeopathic doctors.
Chief medical officer Ashok Mishra and other doctors spoke on how to check rising cases of female foeticide.
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