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Decade-Long War Against Female Foeticide Cut Short Within Minutes

June 13, 2017

Decade-Long War Against Female Foeticide Cut Short Within Minutes

Doctor Mitu Khurana was the first woman to wage a legal war against female foeticide under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994. But her decade-long war was cut short by the Supreme Court within minutes.

Khurana, a proud mother of twin girls, was the first woman to file a case under the PNDT Act for being subjected to pre-natal sex determination test while, she claims, being heavily sedated and without her consent.

On 16 September, the Supreme Court dismissed Khurana’s appeal against a Delhi High Court ruling in a manner which can be termed as “grossly erroneous at best”, said advocate Indira Unninayar, who represented Khurana.


Falling Child Sex Ratio Illegal sex determination: Did Mitu Khurana lose as a result of judicial insensitivity?

June 13, 2017

Illegal sex determination: Did Mitu Khurana lose as a result of judicial insensitivity?

The Supreme Court dismissed the eight-year-old case filed by the Delhi doctor and mother of twin girls against the accused doctors on a technicality

Last Friday, after a hearing that barely lasted a few minutes, the Supreme Court dismissed Dr Mitu Khurana’s case. It was a bitter end to the Delhi resident’s eight-year-old battle against the doctors who allegedly conducted an ultrasound to illegally determine the sex of her twin daughters, apparently in collusion with her husband and in-laws.

Earlier, in April, the Delhi High Court had quashed the proceedings against the two accused doctors – Dr Harsh Mahajan of Mahajan Imaging, and Dr Nitin Seth, the radiologist who conducted the ultrasound – as it felt the case had exceeded the period of limitations of three years, a stipulation under criminal law.

Khurana’s case, activists said, is a huge setback to the women’s movement against the country’s rapidly declining sex ratio. At last count, according to the 2011 Census, the child sex ratio had declined from 927 girls for every 1,000 boys to 919 girls to 1,000 boys.

How it all started

Khurana’s story began in 2005 when, a year after marriage, she became pregnant. Her doctor husband Kamal Khurana and his relatives, she said, pressed her for an illegal sex determination examination, which she refused to do. They later tortured her and tried to force her to terminate her pregnancy, allegedly on finding out that she was carrying girls.

Sick with stomach pain and nausea – after she was allegedly fed cake with eggs, which she was allergic to – she was admitted to Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi. Here, she underwent an ultrasound examination – without her consent and while heavily sedated, she claimed.

In 2008, she found the ultrasound report and suspected it was actually a sex determination test. She filed a complaint with the National Commission for Women, the health minister and the appropriate authority under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. When no major action was taken, she filed a complaint before a magistrate.

When the magistrate court summoned the accused doctors in 2011, they, in turn, filed a case in the Delhi High Court.

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News India News Mumbai News Supreme Court Delhi: Mitu Khurana loses 11-year fight against sex determination

June 13, 2017

Delhi: Mitu Khurana loses 11-year fight against sex determination

Bringing an end to Khurana’s almost 11-year struggle for justice, the Supreme Court dismissed Dr Mitu Khurana’s petition against the Delhi high court judgement that ruled against her.

A year after a Delhi trial court struck a blow to Dr Mitu Khurana’s hopes, the Supreme Court dismissed her case. In 2008, Dr Khurana filed a case against her husband Dr Kamal Khurana, her mother-in-law 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. Khurana was then pressurised into undergoing an abortion once it was determined she was carrying girls.

On September 16, the Supreme Court dismissed Dr Khurana’s petition against the Delhi high court judgement that ruled against her, reportedly after a five-minute hearing, bringing an end to Khurana’s almost 11-year struggle for justice.

According to dna reports from last year, Khurana, in her petition, alleged that her in-laws “pressured her continually” to determine the sex of the foetuses. When she resisted, they allegedly “tricked her” into being admitted to Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi, where they allegedly conspired with doctors to get a sex determination test done.

In her complaint, Khurana said her in-laws fed her cake with egg, which she is allergic to, making her ill.

According to lawyer Anu Narula, who interacted with the media along with Khurana on Tuesday, the high court judgement, which was upheld by the Supreme Court, is “erroneous and full of oversight”. Narula told dna the high court dismissed Khurana’s case on two counts. It was barred by limitation as according to law, a case has to be filed under the PCPNDT Act either three years from the date of offence or from that of knowledge.

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The fight goes on…. So that our daughters may live long

April 5, 2017

From Sakhi April 2017 issue

Justice for Dr Mitu Khurana ~ Petition

October 27, 2016

Justice for Dr Mitu Khurana Petition


Dr Mitu Khurana is a doctor. Her parents are also doctors and she comes from a respected, educated family. Dr Mitu Khurana has been fighting against the discrimination towards her daughters and harassment towards her by her in laws. Dr Mitu Khurana is perhaps the first woman in India to have filed a complaint under P.N.D.T Act against Her husband, in-laws and others who deceived her into the sex determination test.

Dr Mitu Khurana has been fighting for 8 years now. When Dr Mitu Khurana started her fight, perhaps she thought that there are women friendly laws, and women friendly courts… that our country and judiciary is doing so much to ensure a just society for the discriminated half of the society. Her struggle has been documented by various national and international media and is very much in public domain. Dr Mitu Khurana`s story coverage in media encouraged and will continue to encourage other women to come forward and say no to female feticide and save their daughters.

The amount of evidence which Dr Mitu Khurana had gathered may not be available to many other women who may try to take up the fight…. And still the courts deciding against her based on technical grounds will discourage any woman from coming forward.

Read (and sign) Full Petition

India’s disappearing daughters: Child sex ratios continue to plummet all over the country

October 24, 2016

India’s disappearing daughters: Child sex ratios continue to plummet all over the country


Exactly a month ago, Dr Mitu Khurana lost a 11-year-old court battle. This gutsy mother of twin daughters was the first woman in India to file a case under the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act – the great legal tool which is supposed to protect the lives of our unborn daughters. Her lengthy battle came to end in just five minutes when the Supreme Court dismissed it on a technicality.

Dr Khurana’s case is a well documented one and has been covered quite extensively by the Indian and foreign press. She is a doctor, married into a family of doctors, and more importantly – a strong and determined woman who never gave up. She had said that in 2005 when she was under heavy sedation, her in-laws had got an illegal sex determination test done in a high-end clinic in Jaipur. She had proof that this was an unregistered clinic and that the crucial Form F which records the woman’s consent to have an ultrasound had gone missing… all punishable offences under the PCPNDT Act.

And yet she lost.

Meanwhile in other parts of the country, sonographers or ultrasound specialists who do the very important task of scanning pregnant women to check fetal health, went on a one day strike in protest against what they called the draconian PCPNDT Act. They wanted the Act amended because they said they were being persecuted for trivial reasons like a clerical error.

“Look at the piles of paperwork to be done for every single scan,” said an exasperated sonologist at a conference on sex selective abortion. “If I slip on even a single one, I can get arrested and my ultrasound machine can be locked. I came into this field because I was interested in fetal health. Now I regret it. This was once the most popular specialisation for gynaecologists. Now the youngsters are afraid to get into this field.”

At the same time Sabu George who has spent several decades researching and fighting against this form of gender discrimination pointed out to a newspaper that the child sex ratio has dropped drastically in a state like Karnataka, which was once considered comparatively “safe”. This he said is mainly because of poor implementation of the law against sex selective abortion. Today the child sex ratio in Karnataka is 943 per 1,000 males as compared to 973 in the 2001 census. And in thriving Bengaluru, the capital city the ratio is a pathetic 916 to 1,000.

But there are also districts in Karnataka where there are more girls than boys in the 0-6 age group. Udupi with 1,094 girls to 1,000 boys tops the list. Others included in this star list are Dakshina Kannada (1,020), Kodagu (1,019), Hassan (1,010) Chickamagaluru (1,008) and Raichur (1,000). So, does this mean that the PCPNDT Act is enforced better in these districts, or is there something else? Something more intangible? A different mindset? A matrilineal tradition? No dowry?

So where does the problem lie?

By now it is a well-established fact that our daughters are disappearing not from the families of the poor and uneducated but from educated middle and upper middle class families who have access to illegal sex selection and abortion clinics. We all also know that the main culprit is our patriarchal society which has brainwashed several generations of families into believing women are commodities of trade in a marriage and a girl’s life is better snuffed out before she is born, lest she grow into an expensive and unaffordable member of the family.

I have been investigating female infanticide and sex selective abortion for over 20 years now. In 2005, I started researching my book Disappearing Daughters, on the alarming consequences of sex selective abortion. At that time, the worst hit states were Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat. The PCPNDT Act was already in force and these states had “save the girl child” programmes, yet girls were disappearing by the thousands. Today the virus has spread all over India as these maps (see right) indicate.

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India’s ‘obsession with sons’ means millions of lonely men

October 6, 2016

India’s ‘obsession with sons’ means millions of lonely men

The persistence of India’s outlawed dowry system and the availability of illegal gender-testing has resulted in millions more boys than girls.

It is having a profound social impact — finding a wife has become so difficult, some are turning to traffickers.

“I never thought it would be this difficult for us to get married,” said 32-year-old Vikram Hooda, taking a break from working his family’s rice paddy in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

“The villagers make fun of us because we aren’t married,” said Vikram’s younger brother Prakash, 23.

“They don’t understand that there are so few girls here.”

The Hoodas are a family of five brothers. Only one is married.


“If you go by the statistics, the number of girls killed in India, by female foeticide, is much more than any genocide of this world,” Dr Mitu Khurana said.

Dr Khurana is raising twin daughters alone. She said her former husband tried to force her to abort one or both of them after an ultrasound was carried out, unbeknown to her, while she was in hospital suffering from food poisoning.

The Lancet suggests the gender disparity indicates the abortion of between 3.1 to 6 million female foetuses between 2001 and 2011.

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