A doctor couple in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh has been caught red-handed by the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) cell of the Rajasthan government. However, they could not be taken into custody because two BJP MLAs, Sanjeev Raja and Anil Parashar, allegedly interfered with the entire procedure, reported The Indian Express.
The Rajasthan team had caught Dr Jayant Sharma and his wife conducting the sex determination test in their Jeevan Nursing Home on the evening of 16 October. The PCPNDT had planted a decoy in the form of a pregnant woman on whom the doctor couple was carrying out the sex determination. They were caught red-handed by the police. The wife reportedly escaped.
The local BJP MLAs allegedly did not allow the police to carry out its duty. They prevented the police from seizing the ultrasound machine that was being used for the test.
The MLAs left the local Kwarsi police station only when the doctor was let go. Officials, including the Aligarh District Magistrate, kept trying to convince the MLAs to let the Rajasthan team do their job but they did not relent.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the District Magistrate of Aligarh Rishikesh Bhaskar Yashod said, “We apprised senior officers in the government regarding the local public representatives interfering in the legal matter. We tried to convince the MLAs to allow the legal procedure, but they refused to listen.”
Yashod added that the officials had sought his intervention. He had sent a magistrate-rank officer to help them in the case, and the doctor couple was caught red-handed.
Sharma, however, has a different side of the story to share. He claimed that nothing illegal was going on in his clinic. The police had forcibly entered the hospital and sealed the ultrasound machine and the DVR (digital video recorder).
Sharma said, “…public representatives reached after hearing about the matter. I was let go from the police station around 2 am, and no action was initiated against me…I am a surgeon and the owner of the hospital while my wife is a gynaecologist.”
Naveen Jain, IAS, and Appropriate Authority of PCPNDT Cell in Rajasthan told The Indian Express that a team led by a circle inspector of police and a coordinator from the cell had gone to Aligarh for the operation. But they could not complete it due to the “trouble” created there.
Three middlemen, including two from Aligarh who allegedly played a role in getting the test done, were arrested and will be produced in court tomorrow, he added. A Proper arrest warrant would be issued in their name.
On being contacted, both the MLAs, Sanjeev Raja and Anil Parashar, said that they had to intervene to prevent the wrongful framing of the doctor couple, they want the court to decide on the case. They also claimed that nothing wrong was taking place in the clinic, adding that Sharma’s father was a teacher and also a top leader of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.
The Logical Indian Take
Child sex ratio in India has been on a decline. In 1991, the figure was 947 girls to 1000 boys. Ten years later, it had fallen to 927 girls for 1000 boys; and in 2011, the figure stood at 919 girls to 1000 boys.
The low numbers are an evidence of the status of women in the Indian society. Seventy years after independence, we are still confined to a narrow thought process. Low child sex ratio stems from our society’s preference for a son and the belief that only he can carry forward the lineage.
Former Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, in a written reply to Rajya Sabha, had said, “Small family norm coupled with easy availability of sex determination tests may be a catalyst in the declining child sex ratio, further facilitated by the easy availability of preconception sex selection facilities.”
In 1994, the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act – which penalises those involved in the process of sex-determination – was enacted to address the address the declining sex ratio in the country. The Act, however, remains poorly implemented.