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Notice to Centre, States on female foeticide



Legal Correspondent

`Declining sex ratio will have serious repercussions'

Need for guidelines for proper implementation of Act: NGO Doctors conducting sex determination tests indiscriminately, it says

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre, States and Union Territories on a petition seeking a direction for strict implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition on Sex Selection) Act, 1994 to prevent female foeticide.

A Bench of Justices K.G. Balakrishnan and D.K. Jain issued the notice on a petition by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Voluntary Health Association of Punjab, which brought to the notice of the court the prevailing practice of female foeticide in many parts of the country and the consequent decline in sex ratio.

The petition said that though the Act was amended in 2003 pursuant to the apex court direction, there was a need for guidelines for proper and full implementation of the Act. The declining sex ratio would have serious repercussions in future, especially on the status of women. It would lead to increased sexual violence, trafficking and reduced mobility of women.

As the law was not being implemented strictly, doctors were conducting sex determination tests indiscriminately, resulting in female foeticide. The NGO gave State-wise figures to show the declining sex ratio.

Female foeticide would cause irreversible damage to society if remedial measures were not taken immediately by the apex court by issuing further directions to the Centre and the States to ensure proper implementation of the Act, the petitioner said.

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