The Supreme Court directed Haryana government to complete trial of the cases that were lodged for sex determination and female foeticide within the time period of 4 months. This direction was given after observing decline in the sex ratio that was disturbing.
A bench of justices Dipak Misra and Abhay Manohar Sapre said, “"Decline in sex-ratio is a disturbing problem and the same is likely to affect the civilisation in entirety. Women are the basic pillars of human race in any society”.
"The counsel for Haryana has submitted that sex ratio has been decreasing and the same is demonstrated in the affidavit. Declining sex ratio is a disturbing problem".
On Tuesday the bench that took up the case of Haryana said the trial in nearly 102 cases, registered under the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act for the offences of sex determination and female foeticide, be completed within four months starting February 1.
The bench further said "Trial pending before different courts, besides the cases in which the Punjab and Haryana High Court or the apex court have not stayed the trial, shall proceed speedily and be finalised within period of four months commencing February 1."
The counsel for Haryana would be providing the list of pending cases to the Registrar General of the High Court, which in turn, would circulate them to concerned District and Sessions judges where the matters are pending. The counsel further said that Haryana may mull appoint panel of lawyers who can guide authorities to take proper action in female foeticide cases so that any action taken under the PNDT Act doesn't collapse due to technical flaws.
The Bench further directed that the concerned officials with the prosecution offenders under the PNDT Act shall be imparted with an adequate training at Punjab and Haryana High Court’s judicial academy, especially to those that were belonging to districts where the sex ratio was less.
The bench said, "In the wake of submissions made, we direct that competent authorities under the PNDT Act who are authorised to launch prosecution shall be imparted training by judicial academy of Punjab and Haryana High Court. During training, Director, Prosecution, shall be present so that all officers attend training with seriousness."
Haryana’s counsel submitted a compliance report that stated the state has serious concerns to stop the malady of female foeticide. The report stated that state has introduced "BetiBachao, BetiPadhao" campaign to sensitize people about education of the girl child and the sex ratio.
The affidavit said that, “A number of 'Information Education Communication' activities were being carried out regularly for stakeholders at district and state levels to create awareness and sensitize the people about the importance of girl child and "bring a change in their mindset.”
The bench has now fixed the matter on February 17 for further consideration with regard to the issue of female foeticide and declining child sex ratio in Delhi. Earlier the court has termed as “"unfortunate" the failure of states to stop female foeticide in the country.
The Supreme Court to arrive at the figures of the sex- ratio had formed a panel of two joint secretaries and an additional secretary of Union Health Ministry to verify the data used by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and National Capital Territory Delhi.
The court had said it would first take up the matters relating to UP, Haryana and Delhi and then the other states.
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