Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The PCPNDT Act and double standards

The PCPNDT Act was passed with good intentions. The government hoped that it would help to improve the sex ratio, and the government has been extremely aggressive about ensuring that the act is implemented properly. This is why they monitor ultrasound scans very closely. Their major aim is to ensure that infamous Form F which doctors are meant to fill every time they do an ultrasound scan for a pregnant woman gets filled properly. In fact, doctors are being arrested for committing clerical errors when filling in the form !

What I don't understand is why the government has such double standards about implementing the PCPNDT Act. Just like the Act requires that doctors fill in the forms properly , a lot of government officials are involved in ensuring that the Act is implemented.

For example, states have supervisory boards which are meant to meet on a regular basis, as laid down by the Law. However, the truth is that most of them don't meet as frequently as they  are supposed to. Why shouldn't the officials who are on the supervisory board, who have such an important regulatory role to play, also be put in jail when they fail to abide by their commitments under the Act ?

In fact, it's possible to understand that a doctor who's busy taking care of his patients might make clerical errors in filling up the form.  However, the officials refuse to be sympathetic and understanding, and any doctor  who doesn't fill up even a single form out of hundreds properly is considered to be a criminal. In fact, he has to prove that he is not a criminal, which obviously he can't do because no one is claiming that he's helped to commit fetal feticide - all they are saying is that you haven't filled in the form properly, which is why you should be jailed !

A government official  is appointed under the PCPNDT Act as a member of the supervisory board. If he doesn't hold the meetings he is required to, as laid down by the law, then isn't he being derelict in his duty? Shouldn't he also be hauled up and locked up for breaking the PCPNDT Act?

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