SC expresses concerns over lack of publicity and awareness or fear regarding female foeticide in India

SC expresses concerns over lack of publicity and awareness or fear regarding female foeticide in India

Hearing a writ petition filed by Voluntary Health Ass. Of Punjab, the Supreme Court expressed concerns regarding lack of awareness or fear regarding female foeticide in the country. The Bench consisting of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant also said that the directions given by the Apex Court with respect to spreading awareness about female foeticide need to be followed by all states and it directed the State of NCT to submit a specific affidavit regarding the steps taken to educate the public.

The Court also noticed the plea made by the Counsel of the Petitioner regarding the low prosecution of sex-selection cases in Bihar under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of sex selection) Act, 1994.

The Court in its order noted, “At this juncture, we may note with profit that the State ofBihar  has  filed  a  chart  indicating  that  from  the  date  of commencement  of  the  enactment  of  1994  Act,  159  cases  had  been launched in various courts in the State of Bihar and presently 126cases  are  pending.   They are pending since 2012-2013.   In our considered opinion, the cases under the 1994 Act should be dealt with in quite promptitude and the concerned courts have to treatthe said cases with utmost primacy. In view of the aforesaid, we direct  that  the  cases  which  are  pending  before  the  trial  court shall positively be disposed of by end of October 2015.”

It also took notice of the submission that no case has been file In Bihar after 2013. Thereafter, the Court said, “Lack of awareness is  a  known  fact.   In  our  considered  opinion,  the competent  authorities  who  have  been  authorised  under  the  Act  to launch prosecution and also to see that the Act is properly carried  out  and  the  sex  ratio  is  increased,  are  required  to  be given training.  In view of the aforesaid, we would request the Chairman  of  the  Bihar  Judicial  Academy  of  the  High  Court  of Judicature  at  Patna  to  fix  a  time  schedule  for  imparting  the training. The concerned Chief Secretary of the State shall see toit that competent authorities are guided by the schedule fixed by the High Court.”

The matter will now come up in first week of August 2015 before the Apex Court.

Read the Order here.