FEMALE FEOTICIDE: A MURDER OF THE FEMALE FOETUS WITH IN THE WOMB OF THE MOTHER
AUTHORED BY: P. SHOBITHA REDDY
ICFAI LAW SCHOOL, HYDERABAD
MAIL ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
PHONE NO: 6305372719
CO-AUTHOR: P.M. ARUN
ICFAI LAW SCHOOL, HYDERABAD
MAILD ID: email@example.com
PHONE NO: 9652206204
In India, women are treated as a goddess and on the other side the girl child is not given fundamental right to live. female feticide is perhaps one of the worst forms of violence against women where a woman is denied her most basic and fundamental right i.e., “the right to life”. The phenomenon of female foeticide in India is not new, where female embryos or foetuses are selectively eliminated after pre-natal sex determination, thus eliminating girl child even before they are born. As a result of selective abortion, between 35 and 40 million girls and women are missing from the Indian population. In some parts of the country, the sex ratio of girls to boys has dropped to less than 800:1000.
With the advancement of modern technology and with development of easier and cheaper techniques, the practice of eliminating girl child even before they are born has become very easy. Although The government has amended the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act of 1994 that criminalized prenatal sex screening and female feticide, making it illegal in India to determine or disclose the sex of foetus to anyone.
Our Constitution provides for the Right to Equality under Article 14 and right to live with dignity under Article 21. Sex-detection tests violate both these rights. Right to life is a well- established right and is recognized by various international instruments. There is an urgent need to change India's demographic composition and to address this heinous form of violence against women. The enactment of any law is insufficient; laws must be strictly followed and applied before any change in the status of women can become a disgraceful and shocking reality in our country. This Article gives a Bird eye view on the justice that is served to an Unheard Girl child who was not accepted to enter into this world before the mother gives birth.
KEYWORDS: Feminine leadership, selective abortion, criminalized prenatal sex
Gender equality in India is still a dream even after the country gained independence 65 years ago due to the extensive sociological, cultural, religious, and economic factors that have significantly favored the birth of men over women for decades Additionally, women experience numerous forms of harassment in addition to not being treated as equally as males.
Female feticide is a generic term for the selective abortion of female foetuses in patriarchal societies. Women are no longer only denied the right to bear children, but they are also subjected to discrimination in all male-dominated civilizations. Prenatal sex detection technologies have made it easier to determine the sex in the mother's own womb, but this technique is now being completely abused, allowing for the selective abortion of female children while allowing male offspring to flourish. Previously, it was difficult to determine the sex of the foetus in the womb, so if the child was discovered to be a girl child after birth, she was drowned in milk mixed with opium.
Female feticide is ignited by a variety of circumstances, in most of the cases because of the families of the girls must provide dowry to the daughter's prospective bridegroom. Daughters are thought to be a social and financial burden, whereas sons provide protection to their family in old age and can carry out rites for the souls of deceased parents and ancestors.
Although it is lawful to have an abortion in India, it is illegal to have an abortion solely because the fetus is a girl. However, stringent punishment are applicable to the violators but these regulations haven't stopped the spread of this reprehensible practice.
HSITORY OF FEMALE FOETICIDE
Prior to the advancement of technology, births were simply 'hidden' due to female infanticide. Baby girls are still being killed in populations that cannot afford or do not have access to technology or medical facilities. The ability to use ultrasounds for medical diagnostic tests to determine the gender of a foetus during pregnancy first appeared in the 1970s. Ultrasounds, which use high-frequency sound waves to create images of a foetus inside the mother's uterus, can be used to assess the foetus' location and health, as well as identify any potential issues.
However, a tool designed to assist families in preparing for a new life exacerbated India's already-existing infanticide problem. India has been a leader in sex determination technology since the 1970s. India is estimated to have about 63 million fewer women.
Female feticide based on sex-determination testing is a relatively new practice. It skyrocketed in India around the 1990s when ultrasound technology became widespread among upper-class and upper-caste society members. Female feticide, according to sex-determination testing, is a relatively recent problem. In the 1990s, when upper-class and upper-caste society members started using ultrasound technology frequently, it took off in India.
When the Indian government learned about this technology, it passed the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (1994), which made it illegal to identify a fetus's sex unless it was required for urgent medical reasons. Despite the fact that sex determination testing is illegal in India, the effectiveness of this policy was dependent on the jurisdiction in which it was implemented, resulting in the continuation of mass sex-selective testing and abortions. The widespread use of sex-selective abortions is expected to result in 6.8 million fewer female births by 2030.
WHAT IS FEMALE FOETICIDE
Female feticide is the practise of determining the gender of a foetus and aborting if it is a girl. Even though it is illegal, many people continue to do it. Furthermore, some societies practise female infanticide, which is the killing of a girl child shortly after birth. Census 2001 data show that there are only 933 women for every 1000 men in the country, demonstrating this reality.
PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE AND TEST
Pre-natal diagnostic techniques include all pre-natal diagnostic procedures and pre-natal diagnostic tests.
Pre-natal diagnostic procedures means all gynaecological or obstetrical or medical procedures such as ultrasonography, foetoscopy, taking or removing samples of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood or any other tissue or fluid of a man, or of a woman for being sent to a Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic for conducting any type of analysis or pre-natal diagnostic tests for selection of sex before or after conception.
“pre-natal diagnostic test” means ultrasonography or any test or analysis of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood or any tissue or fluid of a pregnant woman or conceptus conducted to detect genetic or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or congenital anomalies or haemoglobinopathies or sex-linked diseases.
REGULATION OF GENETIC COUNSELLING CENTRES, GENETIC LABORATORIES AND GENETIC CLINICS
Female feticide is caused by a variety of factors, the most common of which is that the families of the girls must provide dowry to the daughter's prospective bridegroom. Daughters are considered a social and financial burden, whereas sons protect their families in old age and can perform rites for the souls of deceased parents and ancestors.
Although abortion is legal in India, it is illegal to have an abortion solely because the foetus is a girl. However, strict penalties are imposed on violators, but these regulations have not stopped the spread of this heinous practise. THE PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES (REGULATION AND PREVENTION OF MISUSE) AMENDMENT ACT, 2002
No medical geneticist, gynaecologist, paediatrician, registered medical practitioner, or other person shall perform, cause to be performed, or assist in the performance of any pre-natal diagnostic techniques by himself or through any other person at a place other than a place registered under this Act.
PROHIBITION ON SEX SELECTION
No one, including an infertility specialist or group of specialists, is permitted to perform, order, or assist in the performance of sex selection on a woman, a man, or both, or on any tissue, embryo, conceptus, fluid, or gametes obtained from either one or both.
Any person who is not registered under the Act is not permitted to sell ultrasound equipment, imaging equipment, scanners, or other devices capable of determining the sex of the foetus to genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics, or other entities..
REGULATION OF PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTICS TECHNIQUES
No registered Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory, or Genetic Clinic shall be used or caused to be used for pre-natal diagnostic techniques other than for chromosomal abnormalities, genetic metabolic diseases, haemoglobinopathies, sex-linked genetic diseases, congenital anomalies, or any other abnormalities or diseases as specified by the Central Supervisory Board, and the person qualified to do so shall mandatorily sit.
1. The pregnant women must be at least 35 years old.
2. The pregnant woman has had at least two spontaneous miscarriages or foetal losses.
The pregnant woman has been exposed to substances that could cause teratogenic effects, such as medications, radiation, infections, or chemicals.; The pregnant woman or her partner has a family history of mental retardation, physical abnormalities such as spasticity, or any other genetic discordancy or condition as the Board may specify.
Other than for the aforementioned purposes, no one, not even a woman's husband or a member of her family, shall seek or encourage the use of any sex selection technique on her, him, or both. Likewise, no one shall seek or encourage the use of any prenatal diagnostic procedure on her. Also, anyone performing ultrasonography on a pregnant woman must retain an accurate record of the procedure in the clinic in accordance with any applicable regulations. Any deficiencies or errors discovered in the record constitute a violation.
PROCEDURE TO BE COMPLIED FOR CONDUCTING PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE
No one, including those performing prenatal diagnostic procedures, is permitted to reveal the gender of the foetus to the pregnant woman, her family, or anyone else through words, signs, or other means. Furthermore, no one10 is permitted to perform prenatal diagnostic procedures unless he has:
DETERMINATION OF SEX IS PROHIBITED
In order to determine the sex of a foetus, no Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory, or Genetic Clinic shall conduct or cause to be conducted in such Centre, Laboratory, or Clinic any prenatal diagnostic techniques, including ultrasonography. Additionally, no person shall conduct or cause to be conducted any prenatal diagnostic techniques, including ultrasonography, for any purpose.
THE ROLE OC CENTRAL SUPERVISORY BOARD
The Central Government shall establish the Central Supervisory Board, which shall consist of three members appointed by the Central Government to represent the Ministries of the Central Government, the Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department of Family Welfare, who shall be the Chairman, ex officio, and the Secretary to the Government of India in charge of the Department of Family Welfare, who shall be the Vice- Chairman, ex officio., two each from amongst the eminent medical geneticists; eminent gynaecologist and obstetrician or expert of stri-roga or prasuti-tantra, eminent paediatricians; eminent social scientists; and representatives of women welfare organisations; and three women Members of Parliament, of whom two shall be elected by the House of the People and one by the Council of States; four members to be appointed by the Central Government by rotation to represent the States and the Union territories.
The Central Supervisory Board's duties include the below following
THE ROLE OF STATE AND UNION TERRITORY SUPERVISORY BOARD
Every State and Union territory with a legislature must establish a board known as the State Supervisory Board or the Union territory Supervisory Board, which must be composition of the State's Minister of Health and Family Welfare, who serves as its ex officio Chairperson; the Department's Secretary, who serves as its ex officio Vice-Chairperson; and Secretaries or Commissioners for the Departments of Women and Child Development, Eminent women activists from non-governmental organisations; Social Welfare, Law, and Indian System of Medicines and Homoeopathy, ex officio, or their representatives; Director of Health and Family Welfare or Indian System of Medicines and Homoeopathy of the State Government, ex officio; three women members of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council; ten members to be appointed by the State Government.
The State Supervisory Board or the Union territory Supervisory Board, as the case may be, which shall have the following below responsibilities:15
THE ROLE OF APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY AND ADVISORY COMMITTEE
For the purposes of this Act, the Central Government shall appoint one or more Appropriate Authorities for each of the Union territory by notification in the Official Gazette and basing on the severity of the problem of prenatal sex determination resulting in female foeticide, the State Government shall designate, by notification in the Official Gazette, one or more Appropriate Authorities for the whole or part of the State for the purposes of this Act.
The officers appointed by the central government or state government as appropriate authorities for the state or union territory shall consist of below following members:
The Appropriate Authority has the authority to grant, suspend, or revoke registration of a Genetic counselling Center, Genetic Laboratory, or Genetic Clinic; to enforce standards established for the Genetic Counseling Center, Genetic Laboratory, and Genetic Clinic; to investigate complaints of violations of this Act's or its rules; to take immediate action in response to those complaints; and to seek and take into account the advice of the Advisory Committee, , to take appropriate legal action against the use of any sex selection technique by anyone at any location, suo motu or brought to its attention, and also to initiate independent.
THE OBJECT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, shall form an Advisory Committee for each Appropriate Authority to assist and advise the Appropriate Authority in the discharge of its functions, and shall appoint one of the Advisory Committee's members as its Chairman.
No one shall be appointed to the Advisory Committee if they have been involved in or promoted the use of prenatal diagnostic procedures for sex determination or sex selection. The advisory committee will consist of the individuals listed below.:
THE APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING POWERS NAMELY
REGISTRATION OF GENETIC COUNSELLING CENTRES GENETIC LABORATORIES OR GENETIC CLINICS
After the enactment of Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,1994, no person shall open a Genetic Counseling Center, Genetic Laboratory, or Genetic Clinic, including a clinic, laboratory, or centre with an ultrasound machine, imaging machine, scanner, or any other technology capable of carrying out sex determination and sex selection, or provide services to any of them unless such centre, laboratory or clinic is duly registered.
Every application for registration must be submitted to the appropriate authority in the appropriate format and with the appropriate payments, and any centre, laboratory, or clinic engaged in counselling or performing prenatal diagnostic procedures, either partially or entirely, immediately prior to the start of this Act must apply for registration within sixty days of the start of the Act. Furthermore, after six months from the start of this Act, any centres, laboratories, or clinics that provide counselling or use prenatal diagnostic procedures must cease doing so unless they have submitted an application for registration.No Genetic Counseling Center, Genetic Laboratory, or Genetic Clinic shall be registered under this Act unless the Appropriate Authority is satisfied that such Center, Laboratory, or Clinic is in a position to provide the facilities, maintain the equipment, and adhere to the standards as may be prescribed.
PROCEDURE FOR AVAILING CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION
Following an investigation and being satisfied that the applicant has complied with all requirements of this Act and the rules made thereunder, and having regard to the advice of the Advisory Committee in this regard, the Appropriate Authority shall issue a certificate of registration in the prescribed form jointly or separately to the Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory, or Genetic Clinic, as the case may be.
If the appropriate authority determines that the applicant has not complied with the requirements of this Act or the rules after conducting an investigation, giving the applicant an opportunity to be heard, and considering the advice of the advisory committee, it shall reject the application for registration for reasons to be recorded in writing.Every registration certificate must be renewed in accordance with the terms and conditions and upon payment of the fees specified and the registration certificate must also be displayed prominently at the registered genetic counselling centre, genetic laboratory, or genetic clinic's place of business.
AUTHORITIES POWER TO SUSPEND OR CANCEL REGISTRATION
The Appropriate Authority may issue a notice to the Genetic Counseling Center, Genetic Laboratory, or Genetic Clinic on its own initiative or in response to a complaint asking them to provide justification for why their registration should not be suspended or revoked for the reasons specified in the notice. Without prejudice to any criminal action it may take against such Center, Laboratory, or Clinic, the Appropriate Authority may suspend or cancel its registration for as long as it deems appropriate if it is satisfied that there has been a violation of the provisions of this Act or the rules after giving the Center, Laboratory, or Clinic a reasonable opportunity to be heard and taking the advice of Advisory Committee.
However, the Appropriate Authority may suspend the registration of any Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory, or Genetic Clinic without giving such notice if it determines that doing so is necessary or expedient in the interest of the public. The reasons for this suspension must be documented in writing.
Within 30 days of receiving the order suspending or cancelling registration issued by the appropriate authority, the genetic counselling centre, genetic laboratory, or genetic clinic may appeal that order to
PROHIBITION OF ADVERTISEMENT RELATING
TO PRE CONCEPTION AND PRENATAL
DETERMINATION OF SEX
No person, organization, genetic counselling Centre, laboratory, or clinic, including one that has an ultrasound machine, imaging device, scanner, or other technology that can be used to determine the sex of the fetus or conduct sex selection, shall issue, publish, distribute, or cause to be issued any advertisement, in any format, including the internet, regarding pre-natal care services.
Furthermore, no person organization, including Genetic Centers, Laboratories, Clinics, shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate, or cause to be issued, published, distributed, communicated, any advertisement in any manner regarding prenatal diagnosis or pre- conception sex selection by any means whatsoever, whether scientific or not.
Anyone who violates the aforementioned rules is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine may extend to ten thousand rupees.
INCOMPETENCE OF PCPNDT ACT AND FEMALE FOETICIDE
In nearly two decades since the law came into force, not a single convict has been imprisoned with the Capital Punishment in the court of law. Delhi has shied away from awarding the maximum punishment to offenders and instead let off the convicts with a nominal fine of Rs.1000.
The PNDT Act stipulates a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to Rs.50,000. Despite Supreme Court and various high court rulings to make the existing law a deterrent, the courts have been reluctant to sentence offenders to prison. In many cases, the convicts were given a warning by the judge, prompting a reaction from legal activists, who unanimously demanded deterrent punishment for the fraternity as well as social and academic activists. According to reports, 31 of 52 PNDT Act cases are pending in various Delhi courts. However, no convict has been sentenced to prison in the remaining 21 cases decided by courts since 1996, when the, since the act has been enforced
Maharashtra’s conviction rate for cases registered under the Preconception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act for the past 15 years is only 15%. In comparison, the state’s conviction rate for criminal cases registered under the Indian Penal Code in the year 2016-17 is 50-58%. According to recent reports from State Public Health Department, from the year 2002, 572 cases have been registered under the anti-sex determination law in Maharashtra, but the accused have been convicted in only 90 cases out of which 85 doctors have been sent to jail and penalties have been imposed in the rest 17 cases. Maharashtra’s sex ratio of 883 girls per 1,000 boys, calculated for children up to six years, stands below the national average of 914 girls per 1,000 boys. Former member of the PCPNDT committee stated that, “The accused can afford to hire the best possible lawyers and government lawyers cannot keep pace.
RIGHT TO LIFE OF FOETUS
Article 14 of our Constitution guarantees the right to equality, and Article 21 the right to a life of dignity. Both of these rights are violated by sex-detection tests. The right to life is a well- known ideal that is acknowledged by many international instruments.
Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the life and liberty of all citizens. In a number of cases, the Indian Constitution has recognised the right to life under Article 21. As a result, the right of the girl child should be interpreted broadly and should include the right to be born and not to be aborted solely because she is a girl, as well as the right to remain alive after birth and not to be killed at any time after birth.The right of the girl child may be construed in broader terms and should be inferred as right to be born and not to be aborted only because she is a girl, right to remain alive after birth and not to be killed at any moment after birth, right of the girl child to her mind her body, right to childhood and right to a healthy family environment.
The Hon’ble Supreme court in the case of Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India held that “it is a fundamental right of everyone in this country assured under the interpretation of Article 21 to live with human dignity and it must include the tender age of children to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity.
CAUSES FOR THE EXISTENCE OF FOETICIDE
It is extremely unfortunate to note that even though we live in a sophisticated society in the twenty-first century, our attitudes towards women are still very archaic. When a family's first kid is born a girl, we accept the news cheerfully and begin to consider whether the next child will be a boy or a girl. This idea makes one wonder if the pregnant woman is a girl or a male. The male or female anatomy is determined using the prenatal diagnostic procedure. There are many social-economic, cultural, legal, moral, and technological factors hidden underneath these obvious signs. The main causes of female foeticide are as follows:Conceptual Preference for Boys.
AVAILABILITY OF LATEST TECHNOLOGY
The focus on family planning, the simplification of this process by technology, the facilitation of sex identification and abortion, and the failure to strictly enforce the PCPNDT Act have all contributed to a rise in female foeticide instances
One of the factors promoting the conduct of foeticide is the socioeconomic environment. There are no family planning options available to economically disadvantaged households. There are more instances of female infanticide in these homes as a result of discrimination in child care and nutrition
ABSENCE OF WOMEN IN DECISION MAKING
Women's perspectives have been disregarded as a result of their exclusion from decision- making processes. They are compelled, against their will, to continue foeticide. Due to a lack of desire to strictly execute the rules, these issues are kept under wraps at higher levels of politics, the police, and administration.
GENDER INEQUALITY FOR WOMEN
In comparison to men, women have fewer economic possibilities, as evidenced by India's ranking of 132 out of 148 nations in the UNDP's 2012 GII (Gender Inequality Index). This caused a hostile climate for women and has an impact on their overall empowerment. Moreover, these outcomes sparked discrimination, female foeticide, and infanticide incidents.6. Instances of sexual harassment and associated law & order problems Women are considered as weaker sex and their security has always been a concern for family. During historic times Rajput and Maratha families started the practice of female infanticide and jauhar to protect the dignity of women. Increased cases of rapes and sexual harassment leads to the economic disempowerment of women and which further results into them being disfavoured by parents
DECLINE IN MORAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS
The moral and ethical standards have fallen as people and families have prioritised their own or their families' interests over the rights of girls and the overall contributions that women make to society. The Hippocratic Oath is also broken when doctors perform sex-selective abortions
A GIRL CANNOT PROCEED THE FAMILY LINEAGE
People think girls cannot precede the father family because girls will marry and to go another
family. The relation between them ends after her marriage and no one will be there for the care of her parents. But girls love their parents more than boys. They are always with the parents in joy and sorrow.
SUPREME COURT ORDER ON IMPLEMENTATION
ON PCPNDT ACT
The Hon’ble Supreme Court has given judgment, on the implementation of PCPNDT Act and directed as below
In the case of CEHAT and Others vs. Union of India
Following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed under Article 32 of the Constitution by three parties, including a research organisation, a non-governmental organisation, and a civil society member, the Supreme Court of India issued its first landmark ruling, paving the way for the implementation of the Act prohibiting sex determination. The petitioners informed the Court that, despite the fact that the Act was passed by the Central Government in 1994, neither the Central nor State Governments had taken any steps to enforce it. They also stated that discrimination against the girl child was widespread in Indian society, and that the use of modern science and technology to prevent the birth of female children was evident in 2001 Census figures. The Supreme Court noted the lack of implementation of the law and called for compliance reports from the governments. Eventually, the Court disposed of the Petition in 2003, providing directions such as creating public awareness against the practice of sex selection and implementing the Act with vigor and zeal to the Central Government
The Supreme Court has issued six Orders providing directions for the effective implementation of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. These Orders highlight the Court's concern and frustration regarding the social evil of sex selection and the lack of government action to prevent it. The Court has mandated the prompt action against violators of the Act, including those operating without valid certificates, and has ordered quarterly reports on the Act's implementation.
The Court's Orders reflect a legislative effort to combat the practice of sex selection, and they emphasize the plight of the girl child and the inhuman nature of sex selection. The Orders have been effective in bringing about changes in the law, as the Act was amended in 2003 to include the misuse of pre-conception techniques. The Court's monitoring and the initiatives taken by NGOs have resulted in the appointment of various committees and authorities, as well as increased awareness of the Act's provisions. Without these efforts, the Act would have remained a mere piece of legislation on paper.
In the case of Vinod Soni and Anr vs. Union of India
A married couple challenged the constitutionality of an act on the grounds that it violated Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. During the debate, however, the challenge under Article 14 was not pursued. The couple contended that the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 includes personal liberties such as the freedom to choose the sex of their children and the nature of their family. They claimed that they have the right to any medical procedure that allows them to choose the gender of their child. The High Court rejected this argument, stating that the right to personal liberty cannot be extended to include the right to choose the gender of the child and prevent the existence of a male or female foetus, which is a decision for nature to make. The High Court referred to previous Supreme Court decisions that explain that Article 21 includes the right to food, clothing, a decent environment, and cultural heritage protection. However, even if these rights were expanded to the limits of Article 21, they cannot include the right to select the sex of the child, pre- or post-conception, as this is a decision for nature. The High Court dismissed the Petition, stating that it does not even make a prima facie case for the violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Qualified Private Medical Practitioners and Hospitals Association vs. State of Kerala
Seven hospitals in Kerala had approached the court seeking a declaration that only laboratories and clinics that conduct pre-natal diagnostic tests using ultrasonography should be subject to the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, and that the authorities under the Act should not require registration of all ultrasound scanning centres. The court agreed that registration under the Act should only be compulsory for genetic counselling centres, genetic clinics, and genetic laboratories that perform pre-natal diagnostic procedures or pre-diagnostic steps. However, the court rejected the claim that these clinics are exempt from the Act's provisions. The court examined sections 3, 4, and 18 of the Act and concluded that the authorities have the power to conduct inspections and inquiries in any location where a pre- natal diagnostic device is available and to take action against any person or institution that violates the Act, including unregistered institutes. ensure compliance with the Act from all.
Comparitive Study with Other Countries:
Indian legislation has played an important role in improving women's roles and status. The severe disabilities that Indian women faced at the start of the nineteenth century were numerous and severe, and they were gradually removed through laws and successive amendments. One such example is the PNDT Act of 1994. The PNDT Act of 1994 prohibited the detection of foetal sex. It was mentioned as a possible way to reduce female feticide. It was, however, amended in 2002 to become the PC-PNDT Act. This included preconceptional sex selection techniques, which were required because people began using preconceptional sex selection methods to avoid punishment under the PNDT Act of 1994.
Many other countries, in addition to India, have attempted to address the issue of sex-selective abortion. In Canada, for example, a resolution to condemn sex-selective pregnancy termination was proposed. Sex- and race-selective abortion is illegal in Arizona, USA. The issue of enacting a law prohibiting sex-selective abortion remains unresolved in the United Kingdom. Sex-selective abortion was made illegal in China in 2005.
In India, despite various measures undertaken, the declining sex ratio continues to be a concern. The National figure of sex ratio is 933 women per 1000 men.
In order to address this issue, USG clinics were raided. Doctors were arrested for sex selection and female feticide. In response, and in order to avoid arrest, illegal methods of conducting USGs began. Sex selection tests were conducted in USG machine-equipped vans stationed at people's homes. Following raids on similar vans, USG tests began to be offered from mobile vans as well (USG on the go). Our case study demonstrates that, in order to avoid punishment under the PC-PNDT Act, a mobile team equipped with portable USG machines devised a newer strategy of sex determination test and female feticide.
SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
It is difficult to overnight convert even women's attitudes on female infanticide. The social environment and the familial environment prohibit the women from changing, even if they are willing to recognise and embrace the necessity for it. Young married couples and expectant mothers should therefore be offered counselling to help them deal with the issue because they are surrounded by neighbours and laws that support female infanticide.
This allows for a six-month surveillance of pregnant women. To that end, panchayat-level vigilance committees would be formed, with two leaders from each sangam in charge of carrying out vigilance activity in their respective villages. A special committee within the federation will be formed whose primary responsibility will be to monitor expectant mothers. Activate advisory, planning, and supervisory committees to work closely with the district administration and block-level officers from various departments, such as health, nutrition, police, BDO, village administrative officer, and teachers.
Women's empowerment and education should be part of the long-term initiatives. Rural underprivileged women's place in society will rise with increased education and empowerment. It is hoped that as the women sangams and the federation become more significant and contribute more to the area's development, their presence and the political and economic power they enable will help stop the practise. Assistance from media organisations like AIR, Doordarshan, the Song and Drama Division, the Directorate of Field Publicity, the Press Information Bureau, the Films Division, and DAVP is also being sought in order to implement the Act's provisions. To raise awareness about this social ill, workshops and seminars have been offered by nonprofit groups at the state, regional, district, and block levels. Cooperation has also been sought from religious leaders, as well as the medical fraternity to curb the practice.
Amniocentesis for sex determination is illegal, and anyone caught doing it or facilitating it faces harsh penalties. To end the practise of using amniocentesis for sex determination, amniocentesis will be performed only when necessary in government- or agency-approved medical facilities. Positive messages about the value of daughters will be delivered alongside public education about the illegality of foetal sex determination and sex selection abortion. Advertising of sex determination methods will be prohibited immediately, and those found guilty will face severe penalties.
Use of Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) by Registrar General of India should be taken annually instead of the CSR calculated every decade by RGI to identify districts having lowest child sex ratio and undertake effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act.
The Government of India shall from time to time implement schemes and subsidies by providing monetary benefits from birth nutrition, education, and employment. The government should also incorporate/strengthen the Beti Bachao Beti Padao Program or launch a specific scheme to provide financial assistance to families to retain/survive the girl child regardless of parental income and make the scheme appealing for retention/survival of the girl child.
 Sonia Vaze, Un-Natural Selection: Female Feticide in India, The Public Health Advocate, https://pha.berkeley.edu/2021/04/10/un-natural-selection-female-feticide-in-india/, 20th March 2023 (07:09pm)
 Section 2(j) of The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention Of Misuse) Amendment Act, 2002
 Section 2(i) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 2(k) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 3) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 3A) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 3B) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 4) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 5) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 6) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 7) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 16) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 16A(2) ) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
Aection 16A (1) ) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 17) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 17(6) ) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 17A) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 18) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002.
 Section 19) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002.
 Section 20) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
 Section 21) of The pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act,2002
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