Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Prohibition and Sex Selection) Act, 1994 – Overview

India, a country where traditions, religious beliefs, relations, customs are considered heart of the nation. Many beliefs and rituals exist but Hinduism believes that all humans are divine and so its prime harmony remains its religious beliefs. One of such belief in south India, in the city Tirupati, Gangamma. There is a temple of Kamakhaya Devi. Where from small girls of age group four to ten are elected and made kumaris. They are worshipped here and are given the place of goddess, when they become adolescents have menstruation are given back the normal life and some other girl is given its place. Contrary to this in the other world, girls are been killed in their mother’s womb just for the want of having a boy. These examples put a question upon the place we are living in. Such behavior towards a bunch of genes and fibers. That little life which has just started counting to breath is thrown out of her mother’s womb.

In the 2011 census, it was revealed that the population in India is 940 females per 1000 males. The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (PCNDT) Act, 1994 is an Act of Parliament enacted to stop female foeticide. The Act banned prenatal sex determination. These tests are being done in genetic laboratory or clinic engaged in techniques like Dn-vitron/ fertilization (IVF) with potential of sex determination before and after conception comes under the purview of PCPNDT Act, 1994 are banned. Sex selection refers to the identification of the sex of the foetus and elimination of it if it found to be of unwanted sex. PCPNDT (Regulations and Preventions of Misuse) Act, 1994  (PNDT) Was amended in 2003 to PCPNDT( prohibition of sex selection) Act to improve the regulation of the technology used in sex identification and elimination. Some methods of Pre natal sex discernment are celled free fetal DNA, chorionic villus sampling(CVS), aminiocentesis, obstertric, ultrasonography. Female infanticide which is killing of newborn female children deliberately is largely practiced in countries like China, India, Pakistan. Female infanticide is killing after birth if unwanted sex child has been born and it becomes a serious concern for them if the child born is girl.

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Perceptions like boys can run a family, the heir of the family is needed as a girl will go to other houses after marrying and won’t handle the family and its workspace. So, people prefer a boy as their heir to the family. Apart from this, due to some malpractices that are being practiced in India mainly are the roots of such killing. Malpractices like dowry, rape, physical incapability as compared to that of a man become the cause of killing of female foetus. People mostly tensed that if a baby girl is born then they will have to give dowry during her marriage, or what if she gets raped, family could be in trouble and other things. To stop these malpractices government has laid several rules and laws. Recently, Lok Sabha passed the protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks the death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children.

Another bill that has been approved in the Rajya Sabha also defines child pornography and makes it punishable. The Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smiriti Irani said that 1,000 fast track courts will work for speedy disposal of pending cases under POSCO and 18 states have constituted for the same. To curb child pornography, the bill provides that those who use a child for pornographic purpose should be punished with imprisonment upto five years and a fine of subsequent conviction may lead to seven years and a fine. Six lakh sexual offenders have been registered under the National Database on sexual offenders, the minister informed the house. The bill seizes to minimum punishment from 10 years to 20 years and maximum punishment to death penalty in case of aggravated penetrative sexual assault.

Under PCPNDT, 1994, anyone who violates the Act in anyway mentioned in the form is sentenced to three years imprisonment and is required to pay a fine of ten thousand rupees for non specific violations, the punishments is upto three months imprisonment or a fine upto one thousand or both.



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