ibnlive » India

Jun 30, 2011 at 08:46am IST

Maha: govt crackdowns on sex determination

New Delhi: After three female foetuses were found in this drain in Beed district this month, the Maharashtra government has cracked down on illegal sex tests. It has sealed 131 sonography centres and recognised 31 medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) centres across the state - most of them in Beed which has the state's worst child sex ratio.

But a sting operation conducted by officials of an NGO and the health department has shown that doctors are still carrying out such tests on the sly. The sting caught a doctor red handed - accepting Rs 9000 from a decoy woman patient for a sex determination test.

The doctors claim they are being framed. Some doctors from Beed are even blaming the government saying that instead of acting against the guilty, it is trying to tarnish the profession.

Dr Makarand Ranade said, "We don't have a sonography machine in the hospital. They know it."

A radiologist in Beed Dr Sudheer Hirve said, "The government shouldn't hold the entire doctor fraternity responsible."

Maharashtra's sex ration has gone down from 934 girls to every 1000 boys in 1991 to 925 in 2011. Since the pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques Act, 1994 came into being, the Maharashtra government has registered only 156 cases under the Act. Out of these, over 80 cases are still pending in court while only four doctors have been imprisoned.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, "We are discussing whether we need tougher laws to deal with this, or we need whistleblowers who can give us leads on where such tests are taking place."

Clearly the government is acting tough now but it seems to be case of too little too late.