The Bombay high court has refused to quash the case against a doctor for alleged violations of the provisions of the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. The court observed that the stringent Act was enforced for "not tolerating any deficiency or inaccuracy in keeping complete records".
Justice AIS Cheema of the Aurangabad bench of the HC, while dismissing the petition of Dr Vijay Lahoti, who owns Dr Lahoti Hospital and Maternity Home, observed: "Keeping in view aims and objects of the Act and scheme of the Act and rules referred above and stringent and specific provisions not tolerating any deficiency or inaccuracy in keeping complete records, I am unable to accept the explanatory arguments in defence or to quash the proceedings at the threshold when sufficient grounds to proceed are made out in the complaint (sic)."
An FIR was filed against Lahoti in July 2007 when it was found during inspection that there were some technical discrepancies/faults on his part in maintaining records under the PCPNDT Act.
Lahoti's advocate, RS Shinde, argued that there were only irregularities and no illegalities.
Public prosecutor SV Kurundkar argued that irregularities as well as illegalities were found during inspection.
Also, Form F, which is to be filled by the hospital along with the signature of the pregnant woman stating sex determination of the foetus was not carried out during sonography, was not filled in properly, argued Kurundkar.
Shinde contended that Lahoti mistakenly took declaration in Form G instead of Form F and that such irregularities do not amount to criminal offence.
Kurundkar also alleged that the hospital had not displayed a noticeboard in English and the local language, as required under the provisions, stating that disclosure of sex of the foetus is prohibited under law. The board was apparently there but kept in the cupboard, he added.
The HC observed that the trial court would decide on the merits of the arguments.