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Indian Society

Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT)

  • 04 May 2019
  • 2 min read
  • The Supreme Court, dismissing a writ petition filed by Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), upheld the constitutional validity of Section 23 of the PCPNDT Act, 1994.
    • Section 23 of the Act, provides for penalties for anomalies in paperwork/record keeping/clerical errors regarding the provisions of the Act.
  • It was aggrieved in the writ petition that Section 23, what they term as 'clerical errors', is treated on the same footing as the actual offence of sex determination.
  • SC in its judgement opined that:
    • Non-maintenance of records is not merely a technical or procedural lapse in the context of sex determination, it is the most significant piece of evidence for identifying the accused.
    • Any dilution of the provisions of the Act or the rules would only defeat the purpose of the Act to prevent female foeticide, and relegate the right to life of a girl child under Article 21 of the Constitution, to a mere formality.
    • If a detailed record is not maintained then the violations can never be detected. It will defeat the purpose of the whole act.

Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT) Act

  • The act was enacted in 1994 and amended in 2003 and is an important tool for addressing sex-selective eliminations.
  • Objectives: The main purpose of enacting the act is to ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevent the misuse of a prenatal diagnostic technique for sex-selective abortion.
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