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.