The Madhya Pradesh HC on 3rd April 2021, Saturday denied bail to a woman accused of female foeticide. Vocation for stringent application of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994.
The Hon’ble Single Judge Bench led by Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia believes that it was imperative to say that no mercy ought to be granted at this stage as the identical may strengthen the notion that the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 is only a paper tiger and that health center and laboratories can carry out sex‐ determination and feticide with license.
The Hon’ble court in the instant case noted that a strict method should be implemented if we are to eradicate the menace of female feticide and immorality towards girl children from our society. Additionally, the Hon’ble court quantified that the investigating authority had seized the sonography machine and made out a strong prima facie case against the Petitioner-accused.
Subsequently, the Hon’ble court stated that the Hon’ble Justice of MP HC was further informed that there is a specific allegation against the Petitioner, in the statement of the prosecutrix which was recorded under Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as Cr.P.C., 1973). The Hon’ble court also mentioned that the Petitioner, wife of the main accused was suspected to have given some miscarriage pills to the prosecutrix for abortion.
Needful to mention that the accused in the instant case is booked for the offense committed under Sections 313 (causing miscarriage of a without a woman’s consent) and 318 (Concealment of birth by secret disposal of dead body) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as “IPC, 1860”) and under Section 5 and 6 (j)(ii) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 (hereinafter referred to as “POCSO Act, 2012”).
In due course, the Hon’ble bench in the instant case also noted that contrary to the dominant practice, no mercy must be granted to the accused.
Thereafter the reliance was placed on Rekha Sengar versus State of Madhya Pradesh, LL 2021 SC 51, wherein the Hon’ble apex court had expressed concern over non-implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994. Furthermore, it was observed by the Hon’ble SC that there has been no effective supervision or follow-up action to achieve the object and purpose of the 1994 Act. Rapidly increasing of various sonography centers, genetic clinics, genetic counseling centers, genetic laboratories, ultrasonic clinics, imaging centers in almost all parts of the country calls for more night watch and attention by the authorities under the established 1994 Act. The Hon’ble SC in furtherance also stated that regrettably, functioning of the various sonography centers, genetic clinics, genetic counseling centers, genetic laboratories, ultrasonic clinics, imaging centers are not appropriately monitored or supervised by the authorities under the 1994 Act or to find out whether they are misusing the prenatal diagnostic techniques for determination of sex of foetus leading to foeticide.
The Hon’ble SC likewise also underlined that “not often, the ultrasound machines used for such sex determination in violation of the provisions of the 1994 Act are seized and, even if seized, they are being released to the violators of the law only to repeat the crime…”
Case: Rajni Lodhi versus. State of Madhya Pradesh
Coram: Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia, Madhya Pradesh High Court