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- The petitioner claims that it is a society established to promote awareness in the field of diagnostic ultrasound and to educate and spread awareness amongst general public against female foeticide.
- The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner submits that members of the petitioner are all qualified medical doctors.
- The petitioner is, essentially, aggrieved by the communication dated 05.10.2018 sent by the respondent, whereby the petitioner’s demand for issuance of a notification permitting MBBS doctors to practice ultrasound under the provisions of Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques
(Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (hereafter referred to as ‘PC&PNDT Act’) was rejected. It is the petitioner’s case that MBBS doctors who are qualified as medical geneticists, as defined under Section 2(g) of the PC&PNDT Act, are also entitled to establish ultrasound clinics.
- The petitioner relies on the provisions of Rule 3(3)(1) of the Preconception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex
Selection) Rules, 1996 (hereafter referred to as ‘PC&PNDT Rules’).
- At the outset, it would be relevant to refer to Section 2(g) of the PC&PNDT Act and Rule 3(3)(1) of the PC&PNDT Rules. Section 2(g) of the PC&PNDT is set out below:-
“2(g) “medical geneticist” includes a person who possesses a degree or diploma in genetic science in the fields of sex selection and pre-natal diagnostic techniques or has experience of not less than two years in any of these
fields after obtaining‒
(i) any one of the medical qualifications recognised under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (102 of 1956); or (ii)a post-graduate degree in biological sciences”
- Rule 3(3)(1) of the PC&PNDT Rules is set out below: “(3) (1) Any person having adequate space and being or employing (c) A medical geneticist.”
- Indisputably, all persons who hold medical qualifications recognised under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and who have the necessary experience of not less than two years in the specified field, would qualify as medical geneticists within the meaning of Section 2(g) of the PC&PNDT Act.
- In terms of Rule 3(3)(1)(c) of the PC&PNDT Rules, any person who employs a medical geneticist can set up a genetic clinic/ultrasound clinic/imaging centre.
- The petitioner’s demand from the respondent that the latter issue a notification to allow all MBBS doctors to practice ultrasound under the PC&PNDT Act and PC&PNDT Rules has not been acceded to by the respondent.
- Mr Mahajan, learned counsel appearing for the respondent, states that insofar as the prayer demanding the issuance of a notification is concerned, there is no provision for doing so and therefore, the decision to reject the same cannot be faulted. Insofar as the reasons for not acceding to the demand are concerned, clearly the same would have to be tested in individual cases, keeping in view their medical qualifications and experience.
- In view of the above, the present petition is disposed of by leaving the issue - whether a medical geneticist can operate ultrasound clinics - open to be considered in an appropriate case. The members of petitioner are not precluded from applying for registration with the concerned State Government. The issue whether they are otherwise entitled to practice diagnostic ultrasound will be considered in the given facts of individual cases. It is also clarified that the reasons given by the respondent in the impugned demand would not come in the way of the concerned individuals in making their applications to the concerned authorities, which shall consider the same in accordance with law.
- The petition is disposed of with the aforesaid observations. The pending application is also disposed of.
VIBHU BAKHRU, J
MAY 23, 2019/RK
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
W.P.(C) 3004/2019 and CM APPL. 13896/2019
SONOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF INDIA ..... Petitioner
Through: Mr Khowaja Siddiqui, Mr Arup Sinha and Mr Raghav Kakar, Advocates. Versus UNION OF INDIA ..... Respondent Through: Mr Amit Mahajan, CGSC with Mr Olson Nair, Ms Nidhi Parashar, Mr Shakya Sen and Mr Sanjeev Arora, Advocates.
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA