A Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra on 3 August 2014 asked from all States as well as the Centre the data which can elaborate on the steps taken by them to curb the menace of female foeticide.
Female fetuses are selectively aborted after pre natal sex determination, thus avoiding the birth of girls.
The order came in response of an application filed by Dr. Sabu Mathew George, a member of the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) set up under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994.
NIMC was formed to inspect medical clinics suspected of indulging in the illegal practice. Conviction under the PCPNDT Act attracts a punishment of three to five years of imprisonment.
According to the latest data, as many as 22 out of 35 states in India had not reported a single case of violation of the act since it came into force.
Nineteen per cent births remain unregistered in India, the affidavit said. That five million births in our country are still not registered is indeed a grave violation of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.
The Public Interest Litigation was filed before the court in 2006, by an NGO Voluntary Health Association of Punjab, after a large number of female foetuses were found in a well at a doctor’s house in Punjab. The PIL demanded effective implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act of 1994.
According to the latest estimates, five lakh female foetuses are aborted annually. Recent UNICEF report states that India has lost over one crore girls since 2007. Eighty per cent districts in India have recorded an increasingly awry sex ratio since 1991, the report said. The sex ratio is India has gone down from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981 to 107.8 in 2001 and 109.4 in 2011.
When: 3 August 2014