Must be punished most strictly.
To begin with, there can be no worst humiliation of women other than female foeticide wherein a female is killed by none other than her own parents with the help of doctors who for lure of making quick money resort to this kind of inexcisable unethical practice – and that too while she is in her mother’s womb even before she is born! This has been happening in India since ages yet those involved in it are most unfortunately either not punished at all or even if punished escape with very light punishment. This makes a complete mockery of the rights off female child who is killed even before she is born. This is a matter of grave concern and the usual saab chalta hain attitude is entirely responsible for it!
This most nefarious crime owes its origin to many causes. Among the prominent ones are: ✿ A girl child is mostly considered a liability as parents have to give an exorbitant money in dowry. Therefore in order to avoid it, many want that this innocent life to be eliminated right at the beginning so that they don’t face any more problems later.
✿ A girl child has to be always protected unlike boys who cannot be abused by anyone so easily. Therefore, parents in order to avoid the trouble of always being bothered for her safety tend to decide to eliminate her at the foetus stage itself. ✿ There is a wrong perception that only male children can look affair the parents in their old age. This is another reason for ruthless parents to indulge in female foeticide. ✿ Last but not least, another wrong perception is that, last rites can only be performed by a male child. To say the least, Haryana (820), Gujarat (8780 and Himachal Pradesh (897) are among the worst performing states in India as far as the sex ratio goes. The national sex ratio of 940 also is not very good and it must be improved further which can again be possible only if female foeticide is checked on a large scale especially in rural areas. More awareness campaigns should be launched to educate parents that a girl child is nothing less to a male child in any manner. It will not be an exaggeration to say that unwarranted leniency in awarding punishment for this chance is one of the major reasons why female foeticide has taken such deep roots in India! Look at ‘The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994’. It was amended in 2004. To put things in perspective, this law was enacted to deter and punish pre-natal sex screening and female foeticide. Look at how no minimum punishment of at least 10 or 14 years under Section 23 of this Act has been enforced! Look at how inadequate punishment prescribed which can extend only up to a maximum of three years and not more!
Look at how also no minimum fine is prescribed and the maximum is just 10,000 which is just nothing! What is 10,000 for a doctor who makes several lakh of rupees in a single day? You tell me!
What is even worse is that even for repeated offenders we see that the imprisonment may just extend up to five years only which is just two years more than what is awarded to those who commit the offence for the first time! Not stopping here, even the maximum fine prescribed can extend to just 50,000 only! What is worse is that here again no minimum fine to prescribed!
All this revolves around the sword of discretion in the hands of a judge who can decide to use it as per his own unfettered discretion! What message are the lawmakers sending out by enacting such lenient sentencing for those engaged in this loathsome and most reprehensible practice of aiding in female foeticide in any manner? Why can’t there be zero tolerance for such acts?
Also, why should the name of the medical practitioner who indulges in contravening any of the provisions of this Act not be removed from the register of the Council permanently in the very first place instead of removing the name for just five years under Section 22(2) as we see right now? Why should he/she be allowed to again subsequently commit the same offence before barring him her permanently? There should be zero tolerance for such abominable practices!
Going ahead, why can’t Section 22(3) of the Act also be amended? Why can’t the punishment for those who conduct pre-natal diagnostic techniques on any pregnant woman for purposes other than those specified in sub-section (2) of Section 4 be enhanced from three to 10 years or at least seven years minimum and fine also enhanced from ` 50,000 to ` 5 lakh? Also, why similarly for a subsequent offence, the imprisonment must be for a minimum of ten years and maximum of 14 or life and fine also which should be a minimum five and maximum ` 10 lakh?
Where is it written that laws can’t be amended to meet the present circumstances? Where is it written that those who indulge in female foeticide can’t be sentenced to death or life term? Where is it written that the fine imposed can’t be enhanced?
Needless to say, the weapon of discretion should not be available in the hands of a Judge. This directly concerns the birth of a girl child and therefore cannot be taken lightly under any circumstances. How can leniency be shown at all under any circumstances in such cases of female foeticide which like murder before birth?
It is this unwarranted and misplaced leniency shown towards such corrupt doctors and heartless parents that female foeticide is flourishing on such a large scale and the population of a female child is going down steadily! One fully appreciates the Prime Minister’s ‘ Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ yojana but unless the large-scale incidents of female foeticide are checked immediately things won’t change much and they will be killed even before they are born or are able to be admitted in schools! This deepseated gender prejudice has to be opposed and fought tooth and nail by all right-minded citizens of this country.
I have even Section 22 of the Act which prohibits advertisements relating to pre-conception and prenatal determination of sex and dwells on the punishment for contravention must be amended comprehensively.
All said and done, our lawmakers can do anything at they like provided they are serious and interested seriously in saving females from being killed the foetus stage itself. But it has to be said with deep regret that till now dawnmakers have not done anything serious in this direction. Only piecemeal and cosmetic efforts have been made and the present laws are far too lenient which alone explains why they fail to act as a suitable deterrent!
Before winding up, let me add here that the parents too must be always taken to task strongly for killing their female child in the foetus itself by bribing the concerned doctors! How can they be allowed to go scot free? Why should they not be punished and punished more if they are rich and still indulge in female foeticide? They certainly deserve no leniency if in spite of having enough money to raise a girl child they still prefer to get rid of her by indulging in female foeticide! We
ONE FULLY APPRECIATES THE PRIME MINISTER’S ‘ BETI BACHAO BETI
PADHAO’ YOJANA BUT UNLESS THE LARGESCALE INCIDENTS OF FEMALE FOETICIDE ARE CHECKED IMMEDIATELY THINGS WON’T CHANGE MUCH AND THEY WILL BE KILLED EVEN BEFORE THEY ARE BORN OR ARE ABLE TO BE ADMITTED IN SCHOOLS!
Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.