This article is written by Dhananjai Singh Rana, Student, BBA LLB(H), Amity law School Noida This article deals with the analysis of the PC-PNDT Act 2003, with special emphasis on the loopholes, and analyzing the shortcomings of the same.
Protections are provided like documenting a plot before the investigative power and getting the person discharged from the official courtroom, however, all these curative measures are tedious and can hinder the career of the person. It would not be a surprise to express that the best possible steps are to keep records updated circumspectly, fill the Form-F as given in the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 2003 precisely and accurately, and present the records to the competent authority in the specified time; at that point.
There is no uncertainty that there are a couple of inadequacies in the Act, however, that doesn’t give any explanation behind the resistance of, or contradiction to any of the arrangements of the Act. The significant commitment made by radiologists/gynecologists’ towards avoidance of female foeticide can be accomplished by satisfying the obligatory orders of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. The ongoing decisions of the Courts are severe on the execution of the PC-PNDT Act. The Indian Radiological and Imaging Association is battling like there’s no tomorrow to help radiologists forestall the abuse and inappropriate utilization of the Act by the fitting position.
PC-PNDT Act, 2003
Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 is an Act of the Parliament of India sanctioned to stop female foeticides and capture the declining sex ratio in India. The act restricted pre-birth sex assurance. Each hereditary advising focus group, hereditary research center or a hereditary facility offering pre-natal diagnostics methods, such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with the capability of sex choice (Pre-implantation hereditary finding) follows the mandate of the PC-PNDT Act, 2003 and are prohibited.
The PC-PNDT Act, 2003 was sanctioned on 20 September 1994 to forbid pre-birth demonstrative procedures for assurance of the sex of the unborn child, prompting female foeticide. In other words, the prime objective was to put a mind to female feticide. scrutiny of the Act demonstrates that it is a draconic demonstration from the purpose of its impact on radiologists. The Act doesn’t offer an escape to the failing radiologist and yet it is exceptionally easy to satisfy and maintain the orders of the Act.
A glance at the essential prerequisites of the Act shows the straightforwardness, yet rebelliousness of the Act. The Act punishes all the errands, either engaged with sex assurance or non-support of records. It is enacted in a way that it ought to be an obstacle for those obtaining the goal of gender equality. The sad decrease in the male-female sex proportion has rendered the need to adopt strict measures such as the suspension of enrollment with the medical council, documenting criminal cases, and fixing of machinery for checking the same. Plus, the criminal indictment will likewise get suspension and dropping of enrollment allowed by the State Medical Council.
The Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostics Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Determination) Act 2003, with Rules made thereunder, is a demonstration to protect women The Courts have, at all material occasions, and in every single imaginable way, conveyed decisions demonstrating that the PC-PNDT Act is a whip to punish those guaranteed gender equality and to fill in as an obstacle to other people. Listed below are the aims that the Act is supposed to reach::
- To ensure the implementation of all promotional schemes for girl children at the district level.
- Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the PNDT Act through community participation.
- Ensure accountability of implementing agencies through monitoring implementation of the Act through community participation.
- Tracking pregnancies, MTPs, and birth registration with the help of Anganwadi workers, ASHAs.
- Identifying violators of the Act through conducting detailed audits of form ‘F’ filled in for the pregnant women in the clinics.
- Develop a national, state, and district annual Plan.
Conditions in which the act allows sex determination
Listed below are the few exceptions where pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall be conducted for detection of the following abnormalities:
- chromosomal abnormalities
- genetic metabolic diseases
- Family history of diseases
- sex-linked genetic diseases
- congenital anomalies
- any other abnormalities or diseases as may be specified by the Central supervisory board
No pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall be used or conducted unless the person qualified to do so is satisfied that all of the following conditions are fulfilled, which are:
- age of the pregnant woman is above thirty-five years
- the pregnant woman has undergone two or more spontaneous abortions or fetal loss
- the pregnant woman had been exposed to potentially teratogenic agents such as drugs, radiation, infection, or chemicals
- the pregnant woman has a family history of mental retardation or physical deformities such as spasticity or any other genetic disease
- any other condition as may be specified by the Central Supervisory Board
- no person, being a relative or the husband of the pregnant woman shall seek or encourage the conduct of any pre-natal diagnostic techniques on her except for the purpose specified in Section 5(2) of the PC-PNDT Act.
The illegality of sex determination
In the Indian context, abortion is wrongfully out there until twenty weeks of maternity however solely underneath bound conditions (Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971). Abortions within the trimester of maternity, although ridden with ethical positions, a square measure typically out there to women. The abortions that square measure wanted the primary trimester square measure usually treated as contentious problems. The trimester abortions square measure subjected to contention on the bottom that they’re sex-selective abortions.
In Asian countries and most of South Asia, it’s likely that almost all trimester abortions square measure sex-selective abortions (Gupte, Bandewar and Pisal 1997). Since the sex quantitative relation has been apace declining, policy manufacturers, service suppliers, and therefore the society at giant square measure gazing abortions with heap suspicion. during this case, the controversy has 3 angles: One version spoke communication that “Right to abortion doesn’t embrace the right to sex-selective abortion”.
The opposite version says “Right to abortion includes sex-selective abortions as well”. The third read appearance at this whole discussion through a gender discrimination lens. The primary read is not anti-abortion.
It believes that among the larger procreative health framework, women have the correct to safe and legal abortion. however considering the very fact that the sex quantitative relation within the country is massively declining, no discussion on abortion is feasible while not considering the problem of sex-selective abortion (George and Dhaiya. 1998). For no matter reason, in the Asian nation, there’s Associate in Nursing exaggerated consolidation of the read that sex-selective abortions square measure virtuously and ethically unacceptable and it has to be combated in most imperative terms. consistent with this perception dominant sex-selective abortions square measure a priority and everyone steps towards ought to be taken to combat the menace.
Loopholes in the law
The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and bar of Misuse) Bill, 1991, introduced in the Parliament in 1994, awaits implementation. Women’s teams, health teams, and democratic rights teams approached the President yet again to incorporate recommendations (submitted in 1992), and withhold assent of the 1991 Bill, till these provisions are enclosed. Registration of Genetic Guidance Centres and Laboratories can solely serve the aim of regularizing personal clinics that, in sight of the weak mechanisms for deterrence created by the law, can still savor these activities for the pursuit of profit. Licensing additionally would pave the means for one more avenue of corruption to avoid the paperwork. We’ve been more aware that these tests ought to be confined to government hospitals with public responsibility, instead of granting legitimacy to the personal sector.
The most offensive and misguided feature of the law is its penalization for women to act as a deterrent for them. Such a clause can solely increase the misery of women in a context where the social system leaves very little space for women to make autonomous decisions and women are forced to create ‘choices’. Penalization of women can solely facilitate the protection of the interests of those liable for providing such a facility.
Future technologies being developed for sex-determination, like testing of craniate cells in maternal blood, subtle techniques for sex-pre-selection, like electrolysis, Ericsson’s methodology, etc are presently not coated underneath the law. Unless future technologies bring at intervals the scope of the law, it’ll shortly become digressive to the terrible problems that are to be self-addressed by it.
Effective implementation of the law appears close to impossibility. Preventing info concerning the sex of the craniate from being communicated, isn’t sensible, given the very fact that those obtaining the sex of the fetus, can have an interest in knowing the results. By making a typical interest among the suppliers and users of the ability to evade detection, the task of checking the application has become tougher.
There is no provision for the creation of native vigilance committees which might contribute to effective implementation, and solely central and state-level bodies are nominal. Punishment for the offenders is nominal, and can not act as a deterrent given the super-profits generated during this business.
Thus, initiatives taken to control or regulate the functioning of the non-public medical sector through associate degree isolated legislation might not be the foremost acceptable manner. The opposite issue that emerges is that implementation of this Act needs a lot of general involvement of the State, and the enactment of legislation is merely the primary step in this direction. The State machinery, in this case, the health department, has got to play a lot of crucial roles, a task that is usually not recognized as core health performance.
Strengthening the implementation of the PNDT Act
- Inspection team to be put in place to ensure regular survey and inspection by the Design and analysis of algorithms (DAA)
- Renewal of registrations to be taken based on a track record in terms of record-keeping, etc of the PNDT Clinics
- Mapping of Mobile ultrasound machines in the States
- Follow-up of the cases in the court by hiring advocates at the district level.
- Ensuring Regular meetings of State supervisory board, state appropriate authority, state advisory committee, and district advisory committee to review the progress of implementation at different levels.
Monitoring and evaluation
- Monitoring birth registration and Sex at birth by Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) institutions.
- Monitoring of PNDT clinics by NGOs that will share the responsibility of inspection and monitoring of DAA.
- Identification of unregistered machines in the district by community workers.
- Monitoring of Pregnancies, MTPs, live births, and birth registrations by community workers.
- Appellate Authority has to take up medical audits of records of Form F kept by PNDT clinics under the national scheme.
- National Institute of Mass Communication(NIMC) and North Shore Medical Center(NSMC) inspections to the State and District Appropriate Authority (DAAs)(Central).
- Regular review and monitoring meetings at the national level and State level in the steering group and state health mission respectively for implementation of the SGC scheme involving strict implementation of the PNDT Act by DAAs.
- Training of District appropriate authorities at the State level.
- Training of Judiciary at National and State levels.
- Training of NGOs etc.
- Training of community workers like ASHAs (it has to be incorporated in their training module).
- Media workshops.
The changes are applauded by the various concerned ministries of the campaign against sex determination and determination. However, the fact remains that in a geographical area the implementation of the Act and therefore the judicial method are inadequate. Through the article, an attempt was created to collect proof totally on problems associated with no implementation of the PC-PNDT Act, 2003. It offers 2 necessary problems. At the broader level, it raises basic problems concerning the implementation of the Act with a vicinity that is otherwise not regulated. Secondly, it raises specific problems concerning the operational aspects of the particular implementation of the Act. Elaborating the primary purpose more, for the implementation of this Act efforts square measures being created to observe and regulate the functioning of the immense non-public medical sector that anyway stands unregulated and unapplied to all or any styles of Government management.
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