PC-PNDT Act: Few takers for state’s informer incentive scheme, fewer complaints

sex determination, sex determination test, sex determination arrest,  sex determination case, maharashtra sex determination, sex determination act, maharashtra news In fact, the number of complaints has come down to a single-digit figure on the state’s website and helpline to save the girl child.

State’s informer incentive scheme, set up to keep a check on cases of illegal pre-natal sex determination and the falling sex ratio, has found few takers.

As a result, state health officials say, there has been a dip in the number of cases filed against doctors under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act.

While there were just eight informers in 2014, the scheme failed to get any response last year.
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In fact, the number of complaints has come down to a single-digit figure on the state’s website and helpline to save the girl child.

Activists too acknowledge the dip. Varsha Deshpande, member of the national inspection monitoring committee to implement the PC-PNDT Act and coordinator of the Lekh Ladki Abhiyaan, says that after the damning sex ratio figures revealed in Census 2011, the state has been actively implementing provisions of the Act. “However, since the last year, there has been a sudden slack in the number of cases being registered under the Act,” she said.

According to health officials, more than 7,000 ultrasound machines have been registered across the state and to date, a total of 556 cases have been filed against doctors under the PC-PNDT Act which came into being in 2002. This year, however, barely three or four cases have been filed.

Of the 556 cases, 79 doctors have been convicted by lower courts, 167 have been acquitted while 306 cases are pending in various courts.

“Over the years, strict implementation of the PC-PNDT Act helped check the offences,” Dr Asaram Khade, state PC-PNDT consultant, told The Indian Express. But he too conceded that there were fewer complaints last year both on the state’s website amchimulgi.in and at the helpline, which is the toll-free number 1802334475.

Kiran Moghe, general secretary of Maharashtra unit of All India Democratic Women’s Association, said that the impact of the Act and its implementation had been such that no one now openly talked about illegal sex determination for the fear of punishment, which could explain the dip in the number of complaints. “Hence, we are finding it difficult to set up decoy cases to catch doctors red-handed through sting operations,” Moghe said.

Besides arrests and prosecutions, awareness campaigns have also helped check female foeticide. Several social organisations and doctors have also started their own campaigns.

Meanwhile, state health officials, citing the civil registration system, say the number of girls…

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