Supreme Court highlights the low status of women in Indian families, in PIL judgement on non-implementation of the PCPNDT Act

Rinzing Chewang Kazi vs. State of Sikkim & others [Writ Petition (PIL) 39 of 2012], Supreme Court of India “..in an age where people are described as civilized, a crime against “female” is committed even when the child is in the womb..” -Justice Dipak Misra The writ petition at it’s core challenged the non-implementation of the Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act’ 1994, focussing on the issue of rising female foeticide and the resultant imbalanced sex ratio. After a 10 years long fight in the courtroom, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India issued the final judgment in the case on 8th November 2016. The judgment placed the fulcrum of the issue on the non-implementation of the PCPNDT Act while highlighting the low status of woman in the Indian families. Following are the key points from the judgment: ? Registration of Births: States to maintain a centralized database and should be available on the website regarding the number of boys and girls being born. This statistics should be available right from the level of district, municipality, corporation or gram panchayat for a visual comparison of the number of boys and girls being born. ? As envisaged under the law, statutory bodies should be constituted, wherever absent and re-constituted, wherever needed. This should be followed by regular meetings of the committee. ? Appropriate Authorities to be imparted with periodical training. ? Proper action should be taken by the authorities against the violations under the law. ? Fast tracking of the courts dealing with such violation. ? Periodical training of judicial officers dealing with these cases in judicial academia and training institutes. ? Director of prosecution, legal remembrancer or law secretary should take stock of things dealing with prosecution. ? Courts dealing with the complaints under the act shall submit a report to High Courts. ? Chief Justices of High Courts to constitute a three-member committee to periodically oversee the progress of cases. ? The awareness campaign on the provisions of the act and social awareness shall be undertaken and supported by the State Legal Services Authorities. ? The Union of India and states to issue directions to All India Radio & Doordarshan to give wide publicity pertaining the girl child and social awareness. ? Appropriate Authorities should submit Quarterly Progress Report on the implementation to Government of India and maintenance of Form H. ? The States and Union Territories to implement Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostics Techniques (6 months training) rules, as the training provided therewith, are essential for the fulfillment of the purpose of the act. ? All the states to frame and introduce schemes at the state level as incentives to promote girl child.