A Delhi court said clinics providing pre-natal diagnosis and sex-determination tests are flourishing in the city in connivance with the local administration, politicians and police. The observations were made while dismissing the plea of a doctor couple seeking discharge from the accusation of running a pre-natal sex-determination and pregnancy-termination clinic in Ashok Vihar.
“Clinics providing for pre-natal diagnosis and sex determination flourish in connivance with the local administration, police and other concerned authority only because those who are entrusted with the duty of taking action choose to look the other way. This is a harsh social and national reality and the court of law cannot shut its eyes to the same,” Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
“This court will not adopt an interpretation of law which defeats the object which this Special Act Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques seeks to attain,” the court said.
It added that there were thousands of clinics where sex determination and abortions were carried out on a daily basis and, in some cases, it was being run in connivance with politicians.
The court, in its order, also gave figures of sex ratio in the country, saying that as per statistics, nearly 10 million female foetuses have been aborted over the past two decades and, of the 12 million girls born in India, one million do not see their first birthdays.
“As a result of this, human trafficking has become common in various states of India, where teenaged girls are being sold for cheap money by poor families, being treated as sex objects with more than half of such cases going unreported,” it said.
The doctor couple said the cognisance could only be taken for this offence on a complaint filed by the appropriate authority (and not by an NGO) but that there was no such complaint at the time of cognisance. The complaint against them was filed by NGO Beti Bachao Samiti, which had conducted a sting on the doctors.