All places including vehicles where any equipment capable of determining sex of the foetus are using, require registration under PNDT Act; Delhi HC [Read Judgment]
Delhi High Court in Indian Radiological And Imaging Association (IRIA) vs. Union of India, has issued certain guidelines on Preconception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (PNDT Act).
Division Bench comprising of the Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw disposed of the petition filed by IRAI, Indian Medical Association and Sonological Society of India by issuing following directions.
The Court observed that any clinic/institute/hospital/nursing home or other place, though not proclaiming itself to be carrying out pre-natal diagnostic procedure and thus not a genetic clinic but having ultrasound or other machines “capable of‟ viewing/imaging the foetus and other organs of human body for selection of sex before or after conception, would be covered thereby.
- Section 2(p) of the PNDT Act defining a Sonologist or Imaging Specialist, is bad to the extent it includes persons possessing a postgraduate qualification in ultrasonography or imaging techniques – because there is no such qualification recognised by MCI and the PNDT Act does not empower the statutory bodies constituted thereunder or the Central Government to devise and coin new qualification;
- All places including vehicles where ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or other equipment capable of determining sex of the foetus or has the potential of detection of sex during pregnancy or selection of sex before conception, require registration under the Act;
- However, if the person seeking registration (a) makes a declaration in the form to be prescribed by the Central Supervisory Board to the effect that the said machine or equipment is not intended for conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures; (b) gives an undertaking to not use or allow the use of the same for pre-natal diagnostic procedures; and, (c) has a “silent observer” or any other equipment installed on the ultrasound machines, as may be prescribed by the Central Supervisory Board, capable of storing images of each sonography tests done therewith, such person would be exempt from complying with the provisions of the Act and the Rules with respect to Genetic Clinics, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Counselling Centre;
- If however for any technical reasons, the Central Supervisory Board is of the view that such “silent observer” cannot be installed or would not serve the purpose, then the Central Supervisory Board would prescribe other conditions which such registrant would require to fulfil, to remain exempt as aforesaid;
- However such registrants would otherwise remain bound by the prohibitory and penal provisions of the Act and would remain liable to give inspection of the “silent observer” or other such equipment and their places, from the time to time and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Supervisory Board; and,
Rule 3(3)(1)(b) of the PNDT Rules (as it stands after the amendment with effect from 9th January, 2014) is ultra vires the PNDT Act to the extent it requires a person desirous of setting up a Genetic Clinic / Ultrasound Clinic / Imaging Centre to undergo six months training imparted in the manner prescribed in the Six Months Training Rules.
Read the Judgment here.