Female foeticide a bigger worry, says Supreme Court

"All the States and the Union Territories in India shall maintain a centralised database of civil registration records from all registration units," the bench said in its 43-page verdict.

Emphasising on equal rights for female child, the Supreme Court passed a slew of directions to ensure female child enjoys rights like a male child.

In a report, the apex court said the menace of female foeticide corrodes human values and decreases the sex ratio, which is a sign of “colossal calamity” that cannot be allowed to happen. The bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said the constitutional identity of a girl child “cannot be mortgaged to any kind of social or other concept that has developed or is thought of”.

Holding that there is no room for any kind of compromise, “the question of any kind of condescension or patronisation does not arise”.

Reportedly, the bench passed 16 directions to ensure immediate and effective implementation of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act and the Rules framed there under.

“All the States and the Union Territories in India shall maintain a centralised database of civil registration records from all registration units,” the bench said in its 43-page verdict. It also directed states and UTs without incentives for girl child to frame the same. It emphasized that violations of any provisions would be fast tracked and concerned High Courts will be issuing appropriate directions.

The report requested Chief Justices of HC to periodically monitor the processing of the cases under the law, and also informed that judicial officers involved with the rulings would be timely trained. It directed the authorities concerned to carry out awareness campaigns on this issue and asked the State Legal Services Authorities to give emphasis on these campaigns.

Dealing with the issue of female foeticide, the apex court observed that “when a female foetus is destroyed through artificial means which is legally impermissible, the dignity of life of a woman to be born is extinguished. It orrodes the human values. The legislature has brought a complete code and it subserves the constitutional purpose.” The court added that Female foeticide is conceived by the society because of unethical perception of life and nonchalant attitude towards law.

The court said that decline in sex ratio is a sign of colossal calamity and it cannot be allowed to happen and concrete steps need to be taken to increase it.

Earlier, the apex court had passed a number of directions on the issue including the need to form a statutory board for strict implementation of law prohibiting sex determination as well as setting up of a State Board.

The verdict came in a hearing of a PIL by NGO Voluntary Health Association of Punjab urging it to intervene in the matter in view of decreasing number of girls-boys ratio in the country.