A doctor couple in Aligarh, caught allegedly conducting illegal pre-natal sex-determination tests on a pregnant woman who was a decoy planted by the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) cell of the Rajasthan government could not be taken into custody after alleged “interference” by two local BJP MLAs, Sanjeev Raja and Anil Parashar, late last night.
The MLAs allegedly did not allow Rajasthan officials to seize the ultrasound machine or pick up the accused doctors and left the local Kwarsi police station only when the doctor was let go. Officials, including the Aligarh District Magistrate, kept trying to convince the MLAs to let the Rajasthan team do their job but they did not relent, sources said.
The Rajasthan team had caught Dr Jayant Sharma and his wife conducting the sex determination test in their Jeevan Nursing Home on Monday evening. The woman reportedly escaped from the hospital. Local police brought Sharma with the seized ultrasound machine to the police station.
The MLAs, too, reached the police station and along with SP City, City Magistrate and other officials, sat there until 2 am.
Confirming this, District Magistrate of Aligarh Rishikesh Bhaskar Yashod told The Indian Express: “We apprised senior officers in the government regarding the local public representatives interfering in the legal matter. We tried to convince the MLAs to allow the legal procedure but they refused to listen.”
Yashod said that Rajasthan officials sought help from him and he sent a magistrate-rank officer with them. “They caught the doctor couple doing the test red-handed,” Yashod said.
Sharma denied the allegations. “The team from Rajasthan forcibly entered the hospital and sealed the ultrasound machine and the DVR (digital video recorder).
Nothing illegal happened and public representatives reached after hearing about the matter. I was let go from the police station around 2 am and no action was initiated against me…I am a surgeon and the owner of the hospital while my wife is a gynaecologist.”
When contacted, Naveen Jain, IAS, and Appropriate Authority of PCPNDT Cell in Rajasthan, told The Indian Express that a team led by a circle inspector of police and a coordinator from the cell had gone to Aligarh for the operation. But they could not complete it due to the “trouble” created there.
SSP Aligarh, Rajesh Kumar Pandey, said that the ultrasound machine has been sealed.
BJP MLA from Kol constituency, Anil Parashar said: “We (he and MLA Sanjeev Raja) reached the police station to ensure that the doctor is not framed in a false case. The Rajasthan team already had sealed the ultrasound machine and the DVR and they should have first probed if the test was conducted. How could they arrest the doctor?” He added: “Dr Jayant Sharma’s father was a teacher and also a top leader of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh as well.”
BJP MLA Sanjeev Raja, when contacted, said: “No such (sex-determination test) action had ever been initiated in Aligarh so far and we won’t allow such thing happen here. Now only the court will decide the action.”
When told that Yogi Aditynath Government had started a scheme to trap doctors involved in sex-determination tests, Raja replied: “If any body has a government order regarding any such act, he should show it.”
Naveen Jain said today that his team would procure an arrest warrant against the doctors. Three middlemen, including two from Aligarh who allegedly played a role in getting the test done, were arrested and will be produced in court tomorrow, he added.