Punishment of kin too in sex test cases: Minister
PUNE: State health minister Suresh Shetty on Thursday said that besides erring doctors, family members of the pregnant woman who force her to undergo illegal sex determination test, should also be punished for violating the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prevention of Sex Determination) (PCPNDT) Act.
Shetty was addressing the state supervisory board meeting held in Mumbai on Thursday to review the implementation of the PCPNDT Act. "Our aim is to send a strong message to society. Whoever is party to violating the Act should be taken to task. Section 24 of the PCPNDT Act clearly says that if a woman is compelled by her husband or a family member, then they are liable for punishment, which can be imprisonment for three years or fine up to Rs 50,000," Shetty said.
Minister of state for health Fauzia Khan said if a pregnant woman comes forward to complain against her family that she is being forced to undergo illegal sex determination test, she should be given a cash prize of Rs 25,000 as is given to people who pass on information about doctors doing sex determination test.
Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan, a member of the state supervisory board on the PCPNDT Act, said, "Awareness level vis-a-vis the Act has improved tremendously. That's why more and more cases are coming into light."
Chavan spoke about finding out reasons for acquittals in the cases filed against of doctors who violated the PCPNDT Act. "Reasons of acquittals should also be investigated. The knowledge will equip authorities to file strong cases," Chavan said.