Refusing to release the ultrasound machine of a doctor accused of running a sex determination racket, a Delhi court said the practice of “gender selection” of the foetus before conception is discriminatory and affects the dignity of women. The court was hearing a revised petition of a doctor, who runs a clinic in west Delhi’s Rajouri Garden. He had challenged a magisterial court order, which had refused to release his ultrasound machine on the grounds that he might use it again for the same purpose.
Based on information that sex determination was being carried out at the clinic, a raid was conducted on March 2 last year and the equipment seized. Additional Sessions Judge Smita Garg said in cases where doctors indulged in sex determination and misused modern pre-natal diagnostics technology, prevention of the crime is best achieved by “sealing and seizing” the machines.
“It has been noticed that these techniques are being used on a large scale to detect the sex of the foetus and to terminate pregnancy of the unborn child if it is found to be female. Nowadays, techniques are also being developed to select the sex of the child before conception. These practices and techniques are clearly discriminatory to the female sex and affects the dignity and status of women,” the court said.
Regarding the doctor’s apprehension that the machine would lose its worth if allowed to remain in police custody, the court said the plea has already been taken care of by the magisterial court.
The court had directed senior police officials to ensure it was stored properly.