PCPNDT stands for Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques.
This act was created by the parliament of India for prohibiting the sex-selective abortions in the country.
Female infanticides were increasing day by day before the Independence of India.
However, the government enacted several laws for preventing abortions and raising female sex ratio.
The Indian Penal code 360 also had provisions of punishment for causing intentional miscarriage and similar offences.
In 1994, Parliament enacted the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act on September 20, 1994.
The act came into operation from January 1, 1996. This act regulated and prohibited the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the purpose of pre-natal sex determination which was leading to female feticide.
The act was amended on February 14, 2003, with a purpose to make it more comprehensive. It was renamed as Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques.
The act prohibits the pre-conception of the sex of the fetus and it’s disclosure to the parents.
The act prescribes the punishment of imprisonment up to five years and a fine up to 1,00,000.
Under this act, a Central Supervisory Board CSB constituted under the chairmanship of the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare. This board was responsible for the implementation of the act.
State Level Supervisory Boards handles States and Union Territories. The state-level appropriate authority monitors the working and implementation of the act.
They have the power to seal premises and medical clinics who found guilty in doing these practices.
Main Highlights of PCPNDT Act:
- Prohibition of sex selection in both conditions i.e before and after conception.
- Regulation of prenatal diagnostic techniques, for example, ultrasonography.
- These techniques can only be used for knowing genetic abnormalities.
- These tests should be done at registered places and can be done by a qualified person.
- Prevention of misuse of these techniques and sex selection before and after conception
- Prohibition on advertisements that promotes techniques for sex determination.
- Prohibition on the sale of ultrasound machines to those persons who are not registered under this act.
- Punishment to the person who violates the act.