A Nanded-based radiologist facing charges under Sections of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act has now been booked under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act too. Dr Gopal Battalwar was arrested on July 27 following allegations of sex determination conducted at his diagnostic centre.
Battalwar was earlier booked under Section 312 (causing miscarriage),315 (act done to prevent a child from being born alive) and 316 (causing death of an unborn child amounting to culpable homicide) of the MTP Act. Claiming that Battalwar was innocent,radiologists across the state had protested that the MTP Act should not have been applied in the case,and that he should have been charged under Sections of the PCPNDT Act instead,if he was indeed guilty.
According to his colleague,Battalwar has now been booked under Section 3 (any such equipment has to be sealed and seized by the appropriate authority concerned),Section 29 Rule 9 (non-maintenance of records) and Section 20(1) sub-section 2 (right of authority to give show-cause notice and seal procedural equipments) under the PCPNDT Act. This Act prohibits determination and disclosure of the sex of the foetus. His colleague confirmed that the equipment used by Battalwar at the centre had been sealed.
With a Judicial First Class Magistrate court in Nanded rejecting Battalwars bail application,his family now plans to move to the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court.
Battalwar was arrested after a woman,Savita Ashture,got admitted to a civil hospital in Nanded for heavy vaginal bleeding on July 24. It was found out that she had undergone an illegal abortion with the assistance of a quack,Arifabee Begum. Begums claim that Battalwar had disclosed the gender to her led to his arrest.
According to Dr Jignesh Thakker,secretary of Indian Radiology and Imaging Association,two more witnesses levelling similar allegations against Battalwar have surfaced. The two witnesses stated that Battalwar had performed sex determination on previous occasions. However,why are they accusing him now? Thakker asked.
Nearly 2,500 radiologists had gone on a one-day strike last week to protest against the police high-handedness in this case. We have also approached the State Human Rights Commission to take action against the arrest of Battalwar, confirmed Thakker.