A Judicial Magistrate First Class JMFC court on Thursday sentenced a radiologist working with Aundh chest hospital to three years rigorous imprisonment (RI) for conducting illegal sex determination test at his clinic at Thergaon in 2006. This is the third conviction of a doctor under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act this year.
Dr Mohan Nagne,who was earlier suspended and then re-instated by the state government,works as a medical officer at Shikrapur. Ironically,he was also a member of the Pune District Advisory Committee appointed to oversee the implementation of the PC-PNDT Act in Pune.
When contacted,officials from the State Appropriate Authority implementing the PC-PNDT Act said following the court order,Nagne will be suspended again. Dr Suresh Gupta,director of Health Services,Maharashtra,told The Indian Express that they will send a proposal to the government recommending his suspension.
Besides doling out the prison term,JMFC V B Bohara on Thursday also imposed a fine of Rs 7,000 under Sections 5(2),6 and 29 (rule 9 & 10) on Nagne for illegal sex determination.
According to Dr R R Iyer,chief medical officer of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC),Nagne was caught when a pregnant woman and her mother-in-law,both acting as decoys,were sent to his private clinic at Thergaon.
Janawadi Mahila Sanghatanas state unit president Kiran Moghe,who played an active role in nailing Nagne,has been pursuing the matter ever since he was caught. Activists from the Sanghatana and Tathapi had given Rs 3,000 to the decoys in the form of notes obtained from the Appropriate Authority. The money was subsequently recovered from Nagne.
The case was filed against Nagne by the PCMC Appropriate Authority and medical director,Dr Rajshekhar Iyer. Advocate Jyoti Sorkhade and Geeta Kulkarni fought the case on behalf of the PCMC.
Moghe said the judgment will act as a deterrent and be a message to doctors who involved in illegal sex determination tests.
Third conviction in state this year
So far,six doctors have been convicted for illegal sex determination in Maharashtra. Ambadas Kadam from Satara,Rajesh Manvataka from Jalgaon and Mohan Nagne from Thergaon were convicted this year. A total of 294 cases have been filed against doctors and ultrasound centres for violation of the PC-PNDT Act. Of these,154 have been filed this year. As per the Bombay High Court directive,all cases prior to December 2010 have to be resolved by the year-end. So far,84 such cases are pending,say state health officials.