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Abortion

The action was taken after Varsha Deshpande and Rizwan Parwez had filed a complaint regarding declining sex ratio.

The Commission received a complaint from the complainant stating that the girl to boy child ratio at birth has declined according to the Health Index released in 2018 by Niti Aayog (Government of India).

The complaint alleges that it is due to misuse of medical technology, biased attitude, sex selection and the sex selective elimination increased to defeat ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme of the Government of India. Proactive role of institutions are required to curb the menace. The complainant sought the intervention of the commission. The commission considered the matter.

“We are happy to inform you that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has accepted our letter that we had sent to them with a request to serve a show cause to Medical Council of India (now replaced with Board of Governors till the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 is cleared in the Parliament),” said, Rizwan Parvez who also represents ‘Girls Count’ which is a network NGO’S working to improve declining sex ratio

“In the letter, we had urged NHRC to hold Medical Council responsible for the adverse sex ratio at birth, for letting the sex determination test flourish despite its illegality and for millions of missing girls at birth in the country. NHRC was quite convinced when Varsha ji and I had gone to meet them before the national consultation this month. We will keep you updated on this,” Parvez stated.

Therefore the National Human Rights Commission think it proper and expedient to deal with the aforesaid menace with stern hands. Thus:

i) The Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi is directed to submit a detailed report and steps taken to curb the menace of declining girl child ratio state-wise and district-wise within 4 weeks. The secretary is also required to submit year-wise details of the last ten years showing impact and improvement in the girl child sex ratio, if any, due to the steps taken by the government.

ii) The Chairman, Medical Council of India/Board of Governors is directed to submit a report within 4 weeks about workshops etc. conducted by the MCI in the last 10 years to spread awareness about sex determination and curbing of female foeticide in India. They are also required to inform the commission about possibilities of using software in ultrasound machines to curb sex determination in all hospitals, nursing homes, ultrasound centres etc.

iii) The Chief Secretary of all the states/UTs are directed to submit reports within four weeks about:

a)Constituting of Appropriate Authority and 8 members advisory committees at each district level as per the provisions of the Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.

b) Details of criminal complaints filed against accused persons under MTP Act and PNDT Act in last 10 years.

c) Details of reading a material included in the Curriculum of the State Education Boards about the menace of sex-determination and female child foeticide.

d)Details of special awareness programmes, conducted at state and district level, to sensitise the stakeholders.

e)Details of last ten years of the girl child ratio in their states

f) The Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, New Delhi is directed to submit a report within 4 weeks about awareness programmes conducted to curb female foeticide through All India Radio, Doordarshan. Directorate of Field Publicity, Press Information Bureau and Film Division etc.

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