Steps being taken to block online pre-natal sex determination ads: Centre to Supreme Court

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New Delhi | Updated: July 25, 2016 8:07:04 PM

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit that in pursuance to its earlier order a meeting has already been held with the stakeholders.

Ranjit Singh-PTI-L?One meeting has already been held while a second meeting is scheduled for tomorrow. We have made considerable progress in the matter and soon a decision with regard to the steps to be taken on the issue,? Kumar said. (Image-PTI)

The Centre today informed the Supreme Court that considerable progress has been made and soon a decision will be taken regarding steps to be taken to block advertisements pertaining to pre-natal sex determination on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit that in pursuance to its earlier order a meeting has already been held with the stakeholders.

“One meeting has already been held while a second meeting is scheduled for tomorrow. We have made considerable progress in the matter and soon a decision with regard to the steps to be taken on the issue,” Kumar said.

The bench after taking the submission of the Solicitor General on record adjourned the matter for August 9.
The bench had earlier this month pulled up the online search engines for failing to check advertisements pertaining to pre-natal sex determination.

It had directed the Centre to convene a meeting of technical experts and the search engines within 10 days to explore ways to block such advertisements.

The court had also directed the Centre to hold the meeting and also allow the petitioner, Dr Sabu Mathew George, to participate in it. George has filed the PIL seeking the court’s intervention in view of decreasing number of the girl child in the country.

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 was enacted to stop female foeticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in India. It banned pre-natal sex determination.

The apex court had in January last year directed the search engines like Google India, Yahoo India and Microsoft Corporation (I) Pvt Ltd to strictly comply with Indian laws and block advertisements on sex determination of a foetus.

Earlier, the court had also come down heavily on various states for their failure to stop female foeticide, leading to alarming drop in the sex ratio in the country.

It had asked two joint secretaries and one additional secretary of the Union Health Ministry to convene a meeting of senior officials of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and National Capital Territory Delhi to check “relevant registers” and records that had formed the basis of the sex-ratio data provided by them.

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