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Targeting sonography clinic owners on flimsy grounds harassment: HC

The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court,quashing an offence registered against a doctor couple from Beed,recently observed that prosecuting owners of sonography clinics over “flimsy” reasons amounts to “harassment of medical practitioners”.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: June 14, 2012 2:28:47 am

The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court,quashing an offence registered against a doctor couple from Beed,recently observed that prosecuting owners of sonography clinics over “flimsy” reasons amounts to “harassment of medical practitioners”.

The court’s observation in the order passed on May 11,however,preceded the furore over the death of a 30-year-old woman undergoing a second trimester abortion on May 18. The state ordered a CID inquiry into the incident and a doctor couple — Sudam and Saraswati Munde from Parli in Beed — were charged with causing death by negligence. The Mundes have been absconding since.

The incident,however,sparked a fresh crackdown on sonography clinics allegedly misusing sonography facilities in Beed.

Alka and Anant Gite owned two ultrasound clinics in Parli-Vaijinath. On June 16,2011,government authorities appointed under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of sex selection) Act,1994,raided their clinic and found that they had not filled out Form F required under the Act. The officers seized two sonography machines stating that the Form F was incomplete. The authorities then filed a complaint before Judicial Magistrate First Class.

The court found that columns that pertained to history of genetic or medical disease in the family of the patient and other tests recommended for the patient were incomplete in some forms. “If the form is otherwise completely filled up,the applicants would not have left this item incomplete. The non-filling of this item thus is not contravention. It is not even lapse or inadvertence,” said Justice Nirgude. “… provisions of this Act are strict,the authority before taking action against the medical practitioner must act meticulously,” the court said.

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