Monday, September 10, 2007

Pre-natal sex test as good as female foeticide: Bombay High Court

Equating pre-natal sex determination with female foeticide and the tendency not to have girl child offends a woman's dignity, the Bombay High Court on Friday upheld an amendment to Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act banning sex-selection treatment. Sex selection should be allowed to those who already have one child and want another child of opposite sex, a petition filed by Vijay Sharma and Kirti Sharma -- husband and wife -- had demanded.

But the judges said in a verdict pronounced on Friday that sex selection would be as good as female foeticide.

"That society should not want a girl child, efforts should be made to prevent birth of a girl child...is a matter of grave concern," the judgement observed.

"Such tendency offends woman's dignity," it said. Pre-conception sex determination meant going against the nature, the judges opined, adding it violated a woman's right to live and was against spirit of the Constitution.

The Sharmas had challenged `Prenatal Diagnostic Tests (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act' of 2002, an amendment to the 1994 act, saying it was a constitutional right of parents to select sex of their child before the conception.