Supreme Court has received a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Shobha Gupta seeking directions to the appropriate authorities for proper implementation of mandatory provisions of the Preconception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prevention of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (PNDT) and the rules framed thereunder.
The plea states the sad plight of the country where even after we have ventured into the twenty-first century India,the basic mindset of people has not changed as much as needed.
Even after decades of fighting female mortality, the highly masculine sex ratio has still increased significantly in various rural and urban areas, in contrast to most other countries in the world.
The plea says that at one place we worship females as goddesses amd on the other we deny them the right to live in the womb.
It further mentions that even the smallest inaction has a massive impact on the female mortality rate. Thus, the current situation necessitates immediate judicial intervention”, the plea states.
The plea further reads that even though the Parliament passed the PNDT Act in 1994, its non-implementation has rendered provisions to improve the declining female ratio ineffective.
The Plea adds that Section 18A, has been violated by the concerned authorities even though the legislative intents that every acquittal under the PNDT Act must be compulsorily appealed without any discretion on the part of appropriate authorities.
The plea says that still the relevant authorities have failed to meet this legislative obligation.
The plea reads, “The Petitioner is primarily aggrieved by the fact that even the mandatory provisions of the PNDT Act and the aforementioned Rules are not being followed and strictly adhered to by the authorities, thereby defeating the avowed object and scheme for which the enactment was brought by the Parliament and for which the Central Government framed the PNCT Rules”.
The plea also seeks to ensure the enforcement of the fundamental rights particularly, the Right to Life (Article 21) and the Right to Equality (Article 14) guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
The Plea also says that there is noncompliance with Rule 18-A (5)(vi) of the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Rules, 1996, which were framed by the Central Government in the exercise of powers under Section 32 of the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.
The plea said that the authorities have violated the statute and later have been acquitted “Regrettably, the Appropriate Authorities, particularly in Gujarat and Rajasthan, have not preferred even a single appeal against acquittals.