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Civil society urges govt to remove accused under the PNDT Act from committee

October 4, 2012

Civil society urges govt to remove accused under the PNDT Act from committee

Dr Harsh Mahajan is an accused in the sex determination case filed by Mitu Khurana who was forced undergo the test for bearing twin girls

Shonali Ghosal

Eighteen years after the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC & PNDT Act) was passed for the “regulation and prevention of misuse of diagnostic techniques,” the government’s intention on curbing sex determination remains unclear.

Dr Harsh Mahajan, an accused under the PC & PNDT Act and president of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA), had been appointed as a member of a committee, which is set to examine and possibly amend the format of Form F (the mandatory form to be filled and recorded by all sonography centres when conducting an ultrasound sonography).

“They might have gone by his post as president of the IRIA. But the government should’ve checked his track record,” says Rizwan Parwez, a member of the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) and the Centre for Advocacy and Research. The court has taken cognizance of Mahajan as an accused (among others) after Mitu Khurana filed a case against her husband and in-laws for allegedly forcing her to undergo a sex determination test in 2005. She further states that they put pressure on her to undergo an abortion on learning that she was carrying twin girls. “This is a violation of the Act. The government never supported me in my case,” says Mitu, who was told by a PC & PNDT official to stop wasting her life and give her husband a son if he wanted one.

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