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Doctors up in arms against PCPNDT Act amendment

At present, doctors can't apply for registration or its renewal if a case under Act is pending against them.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
March 3, 2015 4:44:00 am

The Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA) is spearheading the fight of medical practitioners against a recent amendment to the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act that prevents doctors from applying for registration or renewal of registration if a case is pending against them in court. IRIA has taken the case to the Union Health Ministry.

“The life of any radiologist can be ruined by filing court cases on frivolous grounds and denying him/her of registration,” IRIA said. Dr Pramod Lonikar, Secretary General of IRIA has written to J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Health after a Rule 18A(4(ii) of PC & PNDT Rules, 1996 was notified on January 28.

As per the amendment, no application for fresh registration or renewal of registration by a doctor would be accepted if there is a case pending against applicant for violation (whether major or minor violation under PC & PNDT Act) of any provision of the PC & PNDT Act in a court of law.


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“I would like to point out that this rule is prone to misuse by Appropriate Authorities. Any Appropriate Authority and other stakeholders can misuse this rule and ruin the life of a radiologist by filing a court case on frivolous grounds and the case may drag in court for a long time. According to legal principles, a person is not guilty until convicted. There might be a case against a person/radiologist, but he/she cannot be considered guilty until it is proved in a court of law. A mere allegation should not be a cause for denial of registration and thus practice of radiology, otherwise it would be a breach of right to justice and livelihood,” radiologists with IRIA stated.

Recently seven doctors including radiologists of Aditya Birla hospital were pulled up by a JMFC court and given a year’s simple imprisonment for violating PC-PNDT Act — mainly incorrect and incomplete filing of Form F (that details medical history of pregnant women), not displaying the boards warning that sex determination of foetus is illegal.

IRIA president Dr Jignesh Thakker says there are so many patients and so many forms. The amendment that restricts a doctor’s practice is extremely unfair, says Thakker.

According to the state health department, 523 court cases have been filed against doctors for violating the PC-PNDT Act, 168 cases have been decided in court and 75 doctors have been convicted. A total of 142 names had been sent to Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) a quasi-judicial authority for taking action against the medicos. When contacted. Dr S Utture, executive committee member of MMC said as per court directives, the action of suspending doctors has been withheld. “We are issuing strict warnings to doctors violating sections of the Act,” Utture said.

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