The Bombay High Court recently refused to grant pre-arrest bail to a man who allegedly aided the process of conducting sex determination test, stating that the crime is of a serious nature and the accused had “facilitated in conducting the sex determination tests leading to female foeticide”. The court was hearing an anticipatory bail application by Amar Jadhav in a case registered on September 9, 2017, with Tembhurni police station, in Madha taluka of Solapur. The case was registered under Preconception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prosecution of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, and the Maharashtra Medical Practitioner Act, 1961.
The court noted that the Preconception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prosecution of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, was enacted by the Parliament with an objective for prevention of misuse of diagnostics techniques for sex determination leading to female foeticide. “According to me, the allegations against the applicant and other persons in the present crime are serious in nature and requires thorough investigation at the hands of the police and it is necessary for the police to ascertain in how many other cases the applicant has acted as an agent and has facilitated in conducting the sex determination tests leading to female foeticide,” said Justice A S Gadkari.
According to the prosecution, the district surgeon and medical officer named, Pathanshetty, informed the first informant, Dr Santosh Gaikwad, that specific information had been received by the Tembhurni police station that said Dr Santosh Nimbalkar was to perform sex determination test on a lady at the residence of Vikas Chavan.
During the preliminary inquiry conducted by a government officer, it was revealed that Dr Nimbalkar had been to the said place at the insistence of the applicant who was allegedly acting as an agent of Dr Nimbalkar. It was informed to the raiding party that the applicant had gone out for his personal work. The police seized relevant machinery and other articles from the scene of offence.
The counsel for the accused, meanwhile, held that he had nothing to do with the said crime and it is only in the statement of the co-accused, Dr Nimbalkar, that his name has been revealed. Moreover, the accused was not present at the time of the raid.
“Though in the present crime, maximum sentence for the first offence is three years, the present crime is cognizable in nature and after taking into consideration the intention of the legislature in enacting the said Act … the serious allegation against the applicant and gravity of the offence, this court is of the view that the applicant does not deserve to be protected by pre-arrest bail,” said Justice Gadkari.