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“The Order of Mandatory installation of Active Tracker device nullified, as it proved to be” -High Court

“The Order of Mandatory installation of Active Tracker
device nullified, as it proved to be” – Hon. M.P. High Court.

In its recent judgment dated 18/01/2017, on bunch of Writ Petitions, the Hon. M.P. High Court has delivered the common verdict.. Needless to mention that its Binding effect will be limited to that State only.

http://www.mphc.gov.in/upload/jabalpur/MPHCJB/2015/WP/11247/WP_11247_2015_FinalOrder_18-Jan-2017.pdf

Facts and Background :

1. In order to curb the menace of illegal sex determination, the devices like active tracker or silent observers have been required to be installed by the various State Government.

2. In M.P., various Writ Petitions were filed by doctors whereby the order of Govt. interalia praying therein for quashing of directing compulsory installation of Active Tracker to sonography machines or in the alternative direct to the State Govt to bear all the expenses for installing the same.

3. In the meantime, one Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Director RCH was formed to decide the real use of and the Committee gave following recommendations, which are self explanatory :
• Active tracker cannot be advocated as there is enough evidence to show that it has not contributed towards effective tracking and therefore any improvement of sex ratio at birth
• Active tracker has not been able to identify the violation under the PCPNDT Act.
• Active tracker has financial implication and would increase the cost of procedures ultimately for patients/pregnant women.
• Tampering with Active Tracker is always possible and undetectable.
• Active tracker will generate huge data/images that will require sizeable human resources for its management and overburden the Appropriate Authorities without knowing whether it will stand the legal scrutiny in the Court of law.
• Any internet dependent monitoring system for tracking USG machines is not practical due to the problem of connectivity.
• It based monitoring systems cannot be useful for monitoring the misuse of unregistered/unauthorised USG machines which are still out of the purview of the PC and PNDT Law Annexure R/2.

4. Thus relying on these recommendations, by order dated 27/08/2016, impugned order of Mandatory installation of Active Tracker was nullified. All other law points raised are kept open.

Other than M.P. State, this judgment certainly has persuasive value. Changing the mindset of people is required to curb the menace of sex determination. It reminds me a famous quote,
“IF MEN ARE PURE, LAWS ARE USELESS AND IF MEN ARE CORRUPT, LAWS ARE BROKEN”

 

Adv. Rohit Erande

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