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Delhi: Call centre offering sex selection contacted lakhs, say officials

A central inspection team raided the call centre, associated with Ela Woman Fertility, in East Patel Nagar for allegedly offering sex selection services.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi | Published: October 2, 2019 3:03:15 am
DCP (Central) Mandeep Singh said the case has been registered at Karol Bagh police station on the SDM’s complaint. (Representational)

Employees of a call centre — which was raided Monday by a central inspection team — are believed to have contacted as many as 6 lakh people to offer sex selection services in association with a fertility clinic, officials at the state PC-PNDT cell said.

A central inspection team raided the call centre, associated with Ela Woman Fertility, in East Patel Nagar for allegedly offering sex selection services. The sub-divisional magistrate of the area has called for an investigation and registered a complaint with Delhi Police Tuesday.

DCP (Central) Mandeep Singh said the case has been registered at Karol Bagh police station on the SDM’s complaint. “We are investigating the matter,” he said. No arrests have been made yet.

Acting on a complaint received by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare against a racket operated by a company, Elawoman, in Delhi and the entire country, the team conducted a raid late on Monday night.

“This company is alleged to be running through its website, elawoman.com. They offered IVF services and promised to take couples to countries like Thailand, Singapore and Dubai for the process. As per various provisions of the PC-PNDT Act, helping in sex selection and advertising regarding the same are cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable criminal offences,” said Dr Nitin Kumar, special programme officer of PC-PNDT, Delhi government, who was present during the raid.

The Indian Express tried contacting company representatives via phone numbers and email IDs provided on the website, but did not receive any response.

During the raid, the team found around 300 computer systems allegedly used to make calls to couples who wanted a child. In a statement, the state PC-PNDT cell said the call centre was started by an IIT graduate.

According to officials, on receiving specific complaint against the company, it was decided that decoys would be used for the raid.

A National Inspection and Monitoring committee was constituted by the MoHFW and 14 members participated in the raid.

“A decoy team was sent and a relationship officer of Elawoman explained the procedure… He also explained that there is a 100% chance of a baby boy through sex selection. He said that as sex determination is banned in India, the company takes a registration fee of Rs 10,000 and sends patients to Dubai, Bangkok or Singapore. He struck a deal with our decoy for Rs 8.5 lakh for getting a baby boy through IVF in Dubai… he explained the whole procedure and fee structure in writing for patients going to foreign countries,” said the statement.

The team found letterheads, bills, receipt books of IVF specialists working in different IVF centers, and modules for conversing with online clients which had a hand-written information sheet on having a male child via IVF.

During investigation, the statement said, the relationship officer revealed that the main operations of the call centre were being done from Padam Singh Road in Karol Bagh.

The statement said the owner of the call centre was an IIT graduate. “The whole setup and network was his brain child; it has also been registered as a startup… the centre has been running for two years, without displaying any signage.. approximately 6 lakh beneficiaries have been contacted till now,” it said.

The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, was enacted to prevent sex-selective abortions.

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