Petition to Conduct CBI Enquiry into Murder of Dr J A Mathan

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Critical analysis and Recommendations on Petition praying for urgent need to curb female foeticide

Critical analysis and Recommendations on Petition praying for urgent need to curb female foeticide



Presented to Rajya Sabha Committee on 23 March 2011 by Kumar Jahgirdar, Roshni Mathan Pereira, Sivakumar Challa [Other discussions are Privileged Motion]]

Prepared by multi-disciplinary experts

CRISP has presented the view of Conservative, Pro-life and Gender-neutral members of society.
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Head Office: # 78, Osborne Road, (Near Lake Side Hospital), Bangalore - 42, India. Helpline No: +91 80 25593848, Mobile No: +91 98452 64488.
Website: www.crisp-india.org
Critical analysis and Recommendations on Petition praying for urgent need to curb female foeticide       
Honorable Members of the Committee,
This memorandum is in response to your call for feedback, comments and suggestions on Petition praying for urgent need to curb female foeticide. We would also like to request for an opportunity to present our suggestions and recommendations on this issue. We humbly request for an opportunity to depose in front of the esteemed committee.
We represent CRISP, an acronym for Children’s Right Initiative for Shared Parenting. CRISP is a registered, pro-family, pro-life, Non Governmental Organization (NGO) founded by a group of citizens, who are concerned about child abuse, abortions (foeticide) of children (irrespective of gender and not medically indicated) and alienation of one spouse from children during divorce or separation. We feel the unborn child has the unquestionable right to life. CRISP also focuses on furthering the rights of a child to remain connected with both parents (consent of both parents for abortion-mandatory). We recommend that The MTP Act 1971 (amended 2002) includes a detailed counseling process, information of Risks, benefits & alternatives, counseling process by the Medical practitioner, and written informed consent by both husband and wife (for married persons).
We have studied the female foeticide problem since several years and we have following suggestions and recommendations regarding this petition:
1.      The data presented by the petitioners is questionable. This data is downloaded from a commercial website Indiastat.com and this specimen data is also available from the website mis-quoted from. Refer the URL1: http://www.indiastat.com/7/specimen.aspx
The Census has shown an increase in the sex ratio of total population from 927 in 1991 to 933 in 2001. Refer to the URL2: http://censusindia.gov.in/Census_And_You/gender_composition.aspx
The same reference above says that “according to United Nation estimates, the world had 986 females against 1000 males in 2000”. Humans have a Fisherian natural sex ratio of 1.1 boys to 1 girls at birth. In humans, the sex ratio at birth is 909 girls for every 1000 boys. Available from the URL3: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sex_ratio
In humans, the secondary sex ratio is commonly assumed to be 105 boys to 100 girls or 952 girls for every 1000 boys. Refer to the URL4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_ratio
The results of the petition are therefore of propaganda value, inaccurate and needs further substantiation from Census results provided by the Government of India. The Government must wait for the latest census-2010 figures for the accurate “sex ratios at birth Statistics” across states and across urban and rural India.


2)      Most Indian parents feel burdened about expenses for daughter’s marriage apart from dowry. India is one of the rare countries in the world, where parents take pride in spending for their children’s marriage and often parents are socially forced to spend huge sums of money for children’s marriage. This social practice has to be curbed. Today, even in hugely populated country like China, which has family system similar to ours, the parents rarely spend for the marriage of their children. Government must pass laws to curb this social practice, which is the root of female foeticide problem. It is to be noted that often marriage expenses in themselves can be much more than any dowry exchange that takes place.
3)      The Inheritance laws should implemented in letter and spirit of the law, for equal share of property of parental/ancestral property. The non-implementation of inheritance acts is the root cause for the evils of dowry system and its repercussions (Misuse of Section 498a).
4)      We strongly oppose the request of petitioners to provide reservations for women in private and public sector jobs. We are also opposed to reservations for women in politics, in education and in jobs. Reservations are like curing symptoms of a disease, while the disease remains uncured. We feel reservations for women anywhere will not solve their problems and will instead result in many unforeseen indirect problems. The disconnected prayer for ‘women reservations’ for a cause like ‘female foeticide’ takes away the seriousness of foeticide.
5)      Government must initiate pro-life, pro-family policies. The highly liberals abortion laws in India are partly responsible for foeticide (irrespective of gender). In many western countries, the abortion laws are stricter than India and there are serious anti-abortion lobbies, who believe it is their moral duty to save life of every unborn child. In many states in United States of America, the abortion laws are stricter than India.

Unfortunately in India, even the religious leaders (Hindu, Muslim or Christian) have shown little interest in opposing the very liberal abortion culture. Any abortion culture is genocide. Government must take a stricter stand on the entire abortion issue, as done by many Governments in Western countries.
6)      At present, there are not centralized records of pregnancies and abortions in India. We recommend that all pregnancy-related events like abortions be NOTIFIABLE events to Government authorities. This gives too much freedom to doctors and medical practitioners and they have the freedom to abort the children, once the gender of the child is determined. When all pregnancies and abortions are registered, it will become much difficult for medical practitioners to perform abortions and get away from the law.
7)      We agree with the petitioners that the manufacture and import of portable handheld ultra-sound machines must be prohibited in India and people violating it must be severely punished.


Recommendations of CRISP for Prevention of Female Foeticide:

1)      Registrations of all pregnancy-related events (Pregnancy, Abortions, Still-births) in centralized database, so that abortions can be tracked. The doctors and medical practitioners who do not register pregnancies and abortions into this central database must be severely punished. Strong punitive action has to be taken against Parents involved in female foeticide, with abettors (Abortion centres) given equal quantum of punishment.
2)      A new law has to be enacted to curb high marriage spending by parents. No parent should spend more than 6 month’s income for marriage of a son or daughter. This will not only curb marriage expenses, but also check the dowry menace. Inheritance laws have to be strictly implemented.
3)      Government must initiate pro-life policies to discourage mindless abortions in the first place. Mandatory counseling must be given to women, couples and families in case they choose to abort an unborn child. Medical practitioners and doctors must be made to cooperate with this mandatory counseling by special counseling centers in urban India.
4)      The reservations for women in jobs in public or private sector is a disconnected, unrelated event to the problem of female foeticide.
5)      Government (Ministry for Women and Children’s Welfare) must spend Rupees 40 Crores every year in media advertisement campaigns against dowry and extravagant marriages. The goal should be to completely eliminate marriage spending by parents in next 5 to 7 years.
6)      People must be educated through mass awareness campaigns that a son can bring more tears to parents than a daughter.
7)      The misuse of portable ultra sound scanning machines must be prohibited and the violators must be severely punished.
8)      A separate Union Minister has to be set up for Child Rights & Welfare, as roughly 40% of the population are minor children. This has to be delinked from the Women & Child Development Ministry.

References:
1.      Sex ratio. Available from the URL: http://www.indiastat.com/7/specimen.aspx
2.      Census of India. 2001. Available from the URL: http://censusindia.gov.in/Census_And_You/gender_composition.aspx
3.      Human sex ration. Available from the URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sex_ratio
4.      Sex ratio. Available from the URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_ratio
5.      Role of men in families. United Nations. Available from the URL: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/docs/men-in-families.pdf
6.      All India Daughters Protection Forum. Available from the URL: http://allindiadaughtersprotectionforum.blogspot.com/
7.      Childrens Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP). Available from the URL: http://www.crisp-india.org/
8.      Abortion laws. Available from the URL: http://legalservicesindia.com/article/print.php?art_id=299



Appendix
S.
No.
Law
Lapses
Recommendations
1
MTP Act 1971, amended 2002
Husband’s consent is not necessary for Abortions done for married women.

Consent of the following kinds is required before a legal abortion by an approved practitioner can be conducted on a pregnant female:
If married--- her own written consent. Husband’s consent not needed.
If unmarried and above 18years ---her own written consent.
If below 18 years ---written consent of her guardian.
If mentally unstable --- written consent of her guardian.
For married women, wife & husband’s Joint consent to be obtained for abortions mandatorily after a detailed counseling process. Culpable Liability of ‘Female foeticide’ will therefore be borne equally by both parents. This will make the law pro-family.
2
In Satya v Siri Ram, Supreme Court held that termination of pregnancy twice at instance of wife in spite of insistence on part of husband and his parents to have a child in family amounts to cruelty. Similarly in S.k Verma v. Usha, it was held that aborting foetus in the very first pregnancy by a deliberate act without consent of husband could amount to cruelty. Court in S.K case ignores the MTP Act where concern is not material.
Husband’s consent is not necessary for Abortions done for married women.


What about the right of widow to terminate pregnancy? Recently Delhi court has summoned a widow of a Delhi policeman, along with her parents and brother, for having aborted her husband’s only heir to be. According to the mother of the deceased policeman who is the complainant, the unborn foetus would have been the only heir of the deceased son, and the widow had got pregnancy terminated so that she could remarry. Summons has been issued as the court “is satisfied that there is sufficient material on record to proceed against the respondents for the offence under section 312/201, Indian Penal code”.

3
Concealment of Birth
Child murder, or concealment of pregnancy (Contravention of Concealment of Birth (Scotland) Act 1809; Con. 49 Geo. III, c. 14)
When a woman concealed her pregnancy during its course and did not seek help or assistance at the birth, and the child was found dead or missing. Concealment meant non-disclosure not merely active deception.
Contravention of Concealment of Birth Act has to be made (similar to Scotland/UK) in India. Concealment of pregnancy and birth is a premeditation event for female foeticide and against the proper care of foetus. Antenatal care of Mother if not done should be punishable.
4
Concealment of Pregnancy
Concealment of pregnancy
Contravention of pregnancy Act is needed with punitive action for attempted deliveries in toilets
5
Female foeticide
No punitive action. Section 312 of Indian Penal code 1860. "Whoever voluntarily causes a women to miscarry, shall if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the women be punished .....”. The Explanation provided that a women who causes herself to miscarry within the meaning of this section, infringes right to life of mother.
Stringent punishment has to be done for medically non-indicated foeticide (irrespective of gender)
6
Pre-selection techniques
There are three main techniques of sex selection: (i) pre-natal testing and termination of
pregnancy (ii) pre-implantation genetic testing of embryos (iii) sperm sorting – selection of
sperm carrying X or Y chromosomes followed by insemination or IVF.
Banning of all pre-selection techniques, whether done in India or abroad. Strong monitoring of Sex selection done in India and abroad by Indians traveling abroad on Tourist or Medical Visas.
Thanks and Regards,
Mr.  Kumar Jahgirdar,
President, CRISP,
Head Office: # 78, Osborne Road, (Near Lake Side Hospital), Bangalore - 42, India. Helpline No: +91 80 25593848, Mobile No: +91 98452 64488.
Email: kvjahgirdar@yahoo.com


Female foeticide cases registered in 3 years is only 229 (2003 to 2005): How to punish more criminal parents and abettors?


Female Foeticide
Rajya Sabha
Number of cases of foeticide registered during 2003, 2004 and 2005 was 57, 86, and 86 respectively in the country. State wise number of cases registered can be seen at Annexure.
In order to check female foeticide, the Government has enacted the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC&PNDT Act). The technique of pre-conception sex selection has been brought within the ambit of this Act so as to pre-empt the use of such technologies, which significantly contribute to the declining sex ratio. Use of ultrasound machines has also been brought within the purview of this Act more explicitly so as to curb their misuse for detection and disclosure of sex of the foetus lest it should lead to female foeticide. The sale of ultrasound machines has been regulated through laying down the condition of sale only to the bodies registered under the Act.
At the district level, as per the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC&PNDT Act), the Appropriate Authority which is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the district has been empowered to implement the Act. The Appropriate Authority is aided and advised by the Advisory Committee in the discharge of its functions. The Advisory Committee is consists of three medical experts, a legal expert, a publicity expert and three social workers/NGOs (out of which one is from women’s organization).
In addition, a ‘National Support and Monitoring Cell’ has been set up for effective implementation of the Act.
This information was given by the Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss in a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

KR/SK/110 – RS


ANNEXURE
Cases registered under the offence of foeticide during 2003, 2004, and 2005
S. No.
State/UT
2003
2004
2005
1
Andhra Pradesh
0
0
1
2
Arunachal Pradesh
0
0
0
3
Assam
0
0
1
4
Bihar
0
1
0
5
Chhattisgarh
6
6
21
6
Goa
0
0
0
7
Gujarat
4
0
4
8
Haryana
2
15
8
9
Himachal Pradesh
0
2
1
10
Jammu & Kashmir
0
0
0
11
Jharkhand
1
1
0
12
Karnataka
0
4
7
13
Kerala
0
0
1
14
Madhya Pradesh
11
9
12
15
Maharashtra
5
15
4
16
Manipur
0
0
0
17
Meghalaya
0
0
0
18
Mizoram
0
0
0
19
Nagaland
0
0
0
20
Orissa
0
0
0
21
Punjab
11
8
12
22
Rajasthan
12
17
10
23
Sikkim
0
1
1
24
Tamil Nadu
0
0
0
25
Tripura
0
0
0
26
Uttar Pradesh
3
2
0
27
Uttarakhand
0
0
0
28
West Bengal
0
0
0
Total State
55
81
83
29
A&N Islands
0
0
0
30
Chandigarh
0
0
0
31
D&N Haveli
0
1
0
32
Daman & Diu
0
0
0
33
Delhi
2
4
3
34
Lakshadweep
0
0
0
35
Pondicherry
0
0
0

Total UT
2
5
3

All India Total
57
86
86