ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Protecting the PCPNDT Act

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The Supreme Court issued guidelines on 8 November 2016 in Voluntary Health Association of Punjab v Union of India and Others for the strengthening of the more than two-decade-old Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (PCPNDT Act). We must consider two things. One, is it the first time that the Supreme Court has issued guidelines for strengthening the PCPNDT Act? Two, how far will these guidelines improve the implementation of the act without a commensurate initiative from the executive?

Twice before—in 2001 and 2013—the Supreme Court had issued directions for improving the implementation of the PCPNDT Act. Certain overlaps in these guidelines can be noticed. While the Supreme Court’s share of appreciation to issue timely directions for the effective implementation of PCPNDT Act whenever anomalies are brought before the Court is not trivialised, we cannot overlook the fact that these guidelines are only paper tigers without adequate backing from the executive.

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Updated On : 24th Feb, 2017

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