The Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) act enacted in 1994 and amended in 2003 is an Act of the Parliament of India created to prevent female foeticides and arrest the decreasing sex ratio in India. The Act is an essential tool for addressing selective eliminations related to sex. The main purpose of the act is to prohibit and regulate the use of diagnostics techniques before and or after conception for sex determinations leading to sex-selective-selective elimination of fetuses.
Main Provisions of the Act
The main provisions of the Act are as follows.
- The Act recommends the prevention of sex selection, before or after conception.
- It controls the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, such as amniocentesis and ultrasound by limiting their use only to diagnose:
- Genetic Abnormalities
- Metabolic Disorders
- Chromosomal Abnormalities
- Certain Congenital Malformations
- Sex-Linked-Linked Disorders
3. Any test such as ultrasonography in the laboratory or center or clinic to determine the sex of the fetuses should be prevented.
4. The sex of the fetuses cannot be communicated to the pregnant woman or her relatives by no person, including the one who is conducting the procedure as per the law.
5. An advertisement in the form of a notice, circular, label, wrapper,, or any document, interior,, or other media in electronic or print form of pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities, will be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.
6. The registration of all diagnostic laboratories, all genetic counseling centers, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics,, and ultrasound clinics. has been made compulsory by the Act.
Major Implications of the Act
The major implications of the Act are as follows:
- Amendment of the act mainly lays stress on bringing the technique of preconception conception sex selection within the ambit of the act.
- Bringing ultrasound within its ambit.
- Giving strength to the central supervisory board, the constitution of the state-level-level supervisory board.
- Implementation of more stringent punishments.
- Appoint appropriate authorities with the power of civil court for search, seizure, and sealing of the machines and equipment of the violators.
- Limiting the sale of ultrasound machines only to registered bodies.
The provision of the act emphasizes the creation of institutional mechanisms and the provision of tools to monitor the use of diagnostic techniques for preventing sex selection. Those who violate the provisions of the PC & PNDT Act will have to face penalty and punishment.