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India activist to fight sex determination ruling

October 12, 2015

India activist to fight sex determination ruling

mitu_babies

The first Indian woman to initiate proceedings against her ex-husband and his relatives under a law that bans foetal gender determination, has vowed to challenge a court order that absolved the accused of charges that they illegally tested the gender of her foetuses and subsequently pressured her to terminate her pregnancy. BBC Hindi’s Vineet Khare finds out more.

Dr Mitu Khurana says she is still to recover from the “shock” of losing a seven-year court battle against her ex-husband and his family.

In 2008, Dr Khurana filed a case against her husband Dr Kamal Khurana, his mother and another member of his family, for allegedly colluding with a hospital official to determine the gender of her foetuses while she was pregnant in 2005, and then pressurising her to undergo an abortion once it was discovered she was carrying girls.

She told the court that she had refused to undergo the abortion, but had been beaten and denied food as a result, after which she slipped into “severe depression.”

Her husband Dr Kamal Khurana has denied the charges and told the BBC that “justice has been served by the court”.

“This case has cost me heavily. I lost my father. My career is in trouble. I cannot meet my children. I lost my family. I don’t know what she wants,” he said.
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The Khurana case

  • Dr Mitu Khurana married Dr Kamal Khurana in November 2004.
  • She alleged that once she was pregnant in 2005, she resisted pressure from her husband and in-laws to undergo tests to determine the gender of her foetuses.
  • She says her in-laws exploited her allergies to make her sick so that they could use it as a pretence to carry out a gender test on her.
  • Once the test was carried out, she alleged that there was pressure on her to abort the foetuses, which she resisted.
  • When the girls were born, she said, they were shunned and she was subjected to domestic violence.
  • In 2008, she says she discovered a document from the hospital she was taken to, dated 2005, which she said was a “foetal ultrasound and indicative of the gender of the foetuses”
  • Dr Kamal Khurana is still facing charges of domestic violence and allegations that he hacked his wife’s email.

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