Indian doctor alleges husband tricked her into having ultrasound to reveal sex of her children
An Indian paediatrician who has accused her husband of tricking her into revealing the sex of her unborn girl twins and then allegedly pressurising her into aborting them is waging a landmark legal battle over the case at India’s high court.
Mitu Khurana, a 39-year old doctor from Delhi, refused to abort the two girls and has become a cause celebre for campaigners against sex-selective abortions that have reached “emergency” levels in parts of India.
In the first case of its kind, Dr Khurana is taking legal action against her husband who she claims asked doctors to take a surreptitious ultra-sound of her unborn twins while she was in hospital in 2004 suffering from a stomach complaint.
“If, despite all the evidence I have, the accused are allowed to escape then no other women will ever try to prosecute for this type of crime,” Mrs Khurana told The Sunday Telegraph.
“Ultrasounds in India always happen behind closed doors because every doctor knows it’s a crime and will never give the results in writing. If I lose this case it will close the door to any women who want to file complaints in the future”.
Her husband, Dr Kamal Khurana, has vehemently denied the allegations which are the first of their kind to be brought under a law that prohibits the gender testing of foetuses which was introduced in 1994 to curb the endemic practice of aborting girls.
The preference for boys over girls in India for both economic and social reasons has led to dangerously skewed gender ratios, with one study estimating that some 12 million Indian girls had been aborted over the last 30 years.
Last year the United Nations noted that the dwindling number of Indian girls had reached “emergency proportions” and was contributing to violent sex crimes against women.
An organization in Delhi recently investigated 89 hospitals around the capital and unveiled giant sex discrepancies in birth rates. One clinic was found to have delivered just 285 girls for every 1,000 boys over the last year.
Mrs Khurana’s case, which was recently thrown out by a lower court due to lack of evidence, implicates her husband, Kamal, and the Jaipur Golden Hospital.
According to the court papers, Mrs Khurana alleges she was taken to hospital after having an allergic reaction to some food.
नई दिल्ली। अपने ही पति पर बिना अनुमति लिंग जांच कराने का मुकदमा दर्ज कराने वाली महिला डॉक्टर ने निचली अदालत के फैसले को सत्र अदालत में चुनौती दी है। मेट्रोपॉलिटन मजिस्ट्रेट ने महिला के पति व आरोपी डॉक्टरों को सुबूतों के अभाव में बरी कर दिया था।
महिला डॉक्टर मीतू खुराना फिल्म अभिनेता आमिर खान के टीवी शो सत्यमेव जयते से सुर्खियों में आईं थी। महिला ने अपने ही पति के खिलाफ एंटी फोयिटल सैक्स डिटर्मिनेशन कानून के तहत मामला दर्ज कराया था।
मीतू खुराना ने सोमवार को रोहिणी की सत्र अदालत में याचिका लगाई। इस पर सुनवाई के लिए 19 नवंबर की तारीख तय की गई है। खुराना के मुताबिक उनके परिजन शुरुआत में यह कहते रहे कि दो बच्चे बोझ की तरह हैं। शुरुआत में वह समझ ही नहीं पाईं कि उसकी कोख में दो बेटियां हैं।
Dear Prime Minister,
We appreciate your statement while launching Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, you said that female foeticide is a sign of ‘mental illness’. You further said that if this discrimination does not end it could cause a “terrible crisis” soon because of a lack of women in the country.
While appreciating your effort, we are sharing a hard reality of those who raised their voices against this mental illness’. A mother who showed courage to save her unborn daughter finally ended bleakly. A ten-years struggle for the first woman in India to file a case against her husband and her in-laws under laws banning sex determination of fetuses ended when, a trial court in Delhi dismissed her case in September 2015.
Dr Mitu Khurana, a Delhi-based paediatrician, whose story was also shared on Satyamev Jayate, lost the 10 yr old fight and accused was discharged. Despite torture and violence at the hands of her husband and in-laws, she has fought to save her twin daughters from being selectively aborted. In 2008, Mitu Khurana became the first woman in India to file a case against her husband and in laws under this act. Married in 2004, Khurana became pregnant with twins in April 2005, and, in her complaint to the court, she alleged that her in-laws pressured her continually to determine the sex of the foetuses.
Dear Prime Minister, we know that you are serious about eradicating this maniac. Your statement while launching the campaign, as “the Prime Minister of this country had come to them like a beggar and was begging for the lives of daughters, has strengthen a mother’s faith in society and justice. This is not only about Dr Mitu Khurana, the fight is of every Indian who has a daughter, of every Indian who wants India to be a safer place. The Fight is of every woman who wants to/will want to save her daughters. The fight is of every unborn girl who was/will be killed for being a girl.
Hereby, a mother, a women and whole India is looking to you to provide justice, and ensure that Mitu Khurana shouldn’t be the last woman in India to file a case against culprits under this act.
An Indian husband has been found not guilty of illegally determining the sex of two foetuses and then pressuring his wife to abort when he realised she was carrying twin girls.
Dr Mitu Khurana, a Delhi paediatrician, filed charges against her husband Dr Kamal Khurana, his mother and another family member in 2008, alleging they had conspired with hospital staff to carry out a non-consensual gender check on the foetuses.
Foetal gender determination is banned in India under the 1994 Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act. Dr Mitu Khurana is the first Indian woman to bring proceedings against her husband and family under the Act.
The Khurana’s were married in 2004 and Dr Mitu Khurana became pregnant in 2005. She alleged that her husband and his family pressured her to determine the sex of her babies. When she refused, she claimed that they deliberately triggered her allergy to eggs by feeding her a cake made with eggs so she would be submitted to hospital. The illegal gender test supposedly took place while she was in hospital while she thought she was having an ultrasound because of her allergic reaction.
She claimed that once her husband knew she was carrying girls, he pressured her to have an abortion. She refused and carried the twins to term, but was then shunned by her husband and his family and was subjected to domestic violence.
In 2008, she said that she found a hospital document, dated 2005, which was a “foetal ultrasound and indicative of the gender of the foetuses”. She claimed that the document proved she had been the victim of a non-consensual procedure.
Despite the seven year court battle, her husband Dr Kamal Khurana was found not guilty by a Delhi court. The court order said there were “certain lacunae [gaps] in circumstantial evidence on which (the) complainant is relying”.
Dr Kamal Khurana’s lawyer called the verdict “well reasoned”. He said the complaint was a “misuse of the law to settle a score with in-laws”. He questioned why it had taken his client’s wife so long to register her complaint, especially as she was a doctor.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
I am a doctor/pediatrician and I have faced immense pressure from my matrimonial family to abort my twin female children. My experience in fighting for justice for my daughters show the extreme patriarchal attitude of all authorities supposed to help women like me, who want to go against their families and save their daughters.I am the first mother in India to file a complaint under the P.C-P.N.D.T Act because my husband and in laws did not want me to give birth to my twin daughters. My case* set a precedent for other women to come forward and complain when being forced to abort their own daughters. The P.C-P.N.D.T Act which was passed in 1994 was highlighted when I filed my complaints.
Despite it being found out that no Form F was filled when USG was done on me, and other incriminating evidences today after 10 years of my struggle, the trial court has discharged all the accused and dismissed the case. The orders of the court does not even mention the arguments raised by my counsel. The lower court has dismissed my P.N.D.T complaint despite all evidence.
I will however fight back, but need the support of all of you. The orders discharging the accused is a closed door for any other women who want to come forward to speak out against their accused, in their lawful obligation to protect their daughters.
If I appeal alone in the higher court, the orders will be same. This time I want all of you with me, with you extending your support in media, in social media, in talking with others, and watching over the orders as they come in. I cannot do this alone. Please share, blog, and tweet with the hashtag #IStandWithDrMituKhurana.
I want people to realize I do not get any monetary benefit from this case. I just want my daughters, our daughters, to have and to inherit a safer, better world. As sex ratios decline, our society is becoming more violent — crime in general, and crime against women in particular, is increasing.
This is not about me. This is about all women who want to save their daughters. This is about all of us, as a people, as a nation.
Dr. Mitu Khurana
– See more at: It’s a Girl