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SUPREME COURT – FEMALE FOETICIDE : CEHAT VS UNION OF INDIA

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It is an admitted fact that in Indian Society, discrimination against girl child still prevails, may be because of prevailing uncontrolled dowry system despite the Dowry Prohibition Act, as there is no change in the mind-set or also because of insufficient education and/or tradition of women being confined to household activities. Sex selection/sex determination further adds to this adversity. It is also known that number of persons condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, and agree to pursue, by appropriate means, a policy of eliminating discrimination against women, still however, we are not in a position to change mental set-up which favours a male child against a female. Advance technology is increasingly used for removal of foetus (may or may not be seen as commission of murder) but it certainly affects the sex ratio. The misuse of modern science and technology by preventing the birth of girl child by sex determination before birth and thereafter abortion is evident from the 2001 Census figures which reveal greater decline in sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in States like Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat, which are economically better off. Despite this, it is unfortunate that law which aims at preventing such practice is not implemented and, therefore, Non-Governmental Organisations are required to approach this Court for implementation of the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 renamed after amendment as “The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act” (hereinafter referred to as ‘the PNDT Act’) which is the normal function of the Executive.

SUPREME COURT – FEMALE FOETICIDE : CEHAT VS UNION OF INDIA

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