Suspension of clause in PCPNDT Act could lead to illegal sex determination: Brinda Karat

Brinda Karat. File   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

Brinda Karat, CPI(M) politburo member, raised concern over the suspension of certain provisions under the PCPNDT Act by the Union Health Ministry citing the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, she said the Gazette notification, dated April 4, could be misused for conducting illegal sex determination tests freely.


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The suspension of Clause 9(8) is of particular concern, Ms. Karat said in her letter. The Rule reads: “Rule 9(8): Every Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory, Genetic Clinic, Ultrasound Clinic and Imaging Centre shall send a complete report in respect of all pre-conception or pregnancy related procedures/techniques/tests conducted by them in respect of each month by 5th day of the following month to the concerned Appropriate Authority.”

Since the medical facilities come under essential services and thus are exempted from the lockdown, Ms. Karat said if the clinic is open and conducting tests it should be duty-bound to keep a register of such tests and suspension of the rule could lead to illegal procedures.

She asked why the rules have been suspended till June 30 when the lockdown ends on April 15.

“There was no urgent reason to suspend Rules. No other Rules under any other Act have been so far suspended. It is questionable whether the Ministry has powers to arbitrarily suspend Rules placed before Parliament,’’ she said, demanding its withdrawal.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 4:36:40 AM |

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