Supreme Court Upset With Centre For Not Publicising Order of Female Foeticide

Supreme Court Upset With Centre For Not Publicising Order of Female Foeticide

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today expressed displeasure with the Centre and state governments for failing to give wide publicity to its directions on female foeticide to ensure strict implementation of law prohibiting sex determination.

A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant slammed Bihar government over "low" prosecution rate of cases relating to female foeticide while noting that no fresh case has been registered after 2013.

The court noted that Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of sex selection) Act has been operational since 1994 but only 159 cases have been instituted. 126 cases are pending since 2012-2013 in Bihar.

"Lack of awareness is a known fact. In our considered opinion, the competent authorities who have been authorized under the Act to launch prosecution and also to see that the Act is properly carried out and sex ratio is increased, are required to be given training," the bench said.

It further directed that, "the cases which are pending before the trial court shall positively be disposed of by end of October 2015."

The advocate representing the Centre told the court that "appropriate" directions are issued to the authorities of All India Radio and Doordarshan to ensure wide publicity.

On April 15, the Supreme Court had passed several directions on the issue including the need to form a statutory board for strict implementation of law.

Asking authorities to act with strictness, the court said "the appropriate authority shall develop a system so that anyone, who comes to know of any illegality being committed, can send the complaint or information to the authority even anonimously."

Taking a critical view of the pending cases, the court has directed the trial magistrates to finalize them by September 30.

Earlier in March, the court had directed the governments to map all ultra-sonography clinics within three months and asked the lower courts to dispose all the pending cases within six months.

The court passed the order on a PIL by NGO Voluntary Health Association of Punjab urging it to intervene in the matter in view of decreasing number of girls-boys ratio in the country.