Dr. Vilas Sawant who was caught after a sting operation at Mhaswad village,100 km from Satara,on Saturday for conducting illegal sex determination tests had earlier been charged for the same offence.
The judicial magistrate (first class) court in Mhaswad had acquitted Sawant then but the order was challenged by the state government. However,till then the trial court had released the ultrasound machine,which local activists in Satara claim was being used for conducting illegal sex determination tests.
On Monday,the Satara police arrested Vilas,Arun Sawant and Dilip Rajage for destruction of evidence in connection with the illegal tests performed by them. Assistant Inspector S V Kore said they have arrested the three and searched their homes and hospital premises. They were produced before the court and remanded in magisterial custody,he said.
Advocate Poonam Salunkhe,PCPNDT legal advisor at Satara civil hospital,said cases will be filed against Vilas,Rajage and Arun in court on Tuesday for flouting various sections of the PCPNDT Act.
Varsha Deshpande national monitoring and inspection committee of the PCPNDT Act,who has conducted over 35 sting operations said they had conducted a similar raid in 2008. At that time Sawant was at Atpadi tehsil in Sangli and used to take patients for sonography at a local doctors clinic. We conducted a sting operation and the ultrasound machine was seized after the doctors revealed the sex of the foetus. On technical grounds,however,the trial court acquitted the doctors,and the state has now filed an appeal in HC, Deshpande said.
Child rights activist Dr Yamini Adbe and a Pune-based couple had conducted a sting operation that helped state vigilance officers with the PCPNDT cell book Rajage and Vilas. Adbe said Dr Yashwant Satpute,who was working at Bansal hospital on Dehu Road,is absconding. Satpute is an important link as he provided information about the Satara doctors and the procedure to be followed by pregnant women who wanted to know the sex of the foetus, she said. While Adbe now plans to write to the health ministry for action against the doctors,Deshpande demanded cancellation of Sawants bail.
54 docs convicted
A total of 477 cases have been filed in various courts against doctors for flouting provisions of the PCPNDT Act. Of these,131 have been finalised and 54 doctors have been convicted,said Dr Sudhakar Kokane,PCPNDT state nodal officer. Of these 477 court cases,13 are from Satara,13 from Pune rural,47 from Pune Municipal Corporation and nine from PCMC area. The state,however,filed 15 appeals against court orders acquitting doctors.