Centre of Enquiry into Health & Ors. Vs. Union of India

The study articulates a demonstrative understanding of the Centre for an inquiry into health and allied themes (CEHAT) v. Union Of India 2003. Where the case pertains to the use of prenatal testing diagnostic testing or sex selection techniques, however, the rampant misuse of technology equipped with a primitive and patriarchal mindset, resulted in incidents of female foeticide and infanticide. Thus in order to ban such practices, the government tried to legislate through the issue and compounded a path-breaking law that will deduce such practice. The study will provide a complete understanding of the issue, contributing to the betterment of society.


In the population census of 2001, it was found that the sex ratio has seen a radical imbalance in the country even when some of the states were well off in comparison to other states and the major reason which was brimming the rise of the social evil was the rampant misuse of the pre-natal diagnostic techniques which the government has banned. Now coming onto the resultant case the Centre for an inquiry into health and allied services is a Non-government organization which was involved in a lot of the betterment and well being of the society, thus a complain has been filed by the then organization with respect to the implementation of the Act done within the country. Thus the apex court in its order of 4th May 2001 (2001) 5 SCC 577, inducted that the practice is highly unfortunate as such practices lead to increased gender disparity a high sex ratio, lives lost, lack of development, and abuse and violence against the women and children. Moreover, it has been observed that families do not often keep this spillover in mind and thus results in sex selection and will eventually hurt society as a whole. For effective control over this rising social evil, the government of India adopted the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques( Regulation and prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994. The Act provides to prevent the misuse of techniques for the purpose of prenatal sex determination leading to female foeticide and for the matter connected with the Act came into force on 1st January 1996. However the has not been effectively implemented by the authorities thus three such petitioners, Centre for Enquiry Into Health and allied theme (CEHAT), Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal (MASUM), Dr. Sabu M. Georges who was an experienced technique,  approached the apex court under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.

Reasons for Female Infanticide

1. It is a general perception that a woman is considered a financial obligation as money spent on bringing her up, educating her, marrying her will not be repaid back. As Justice YK Sabharwal, Chief Justice of India rightly said [4] that investing in a daughter is like “watering your neighbor’s lawn.

2. Dowry system is widely prevalent in all communities and castes and is illegal in India under the Dowry Prohibition Act. As a result, the daughters are considered to be an economic liability.

3. Hinduism allows only a son or male relative to light the father’s pyre. Believing that the father gets salvation after his death. On the other hand, Hindu books and Rig Veda hold women in a much-respected light. Many women, in these texts, were highly regarded and respected. This may be one of the main important factors to have a male child.

4. Advance in technology like ultrasonography is now conveniently available at the clinic next door. The easy availability of mobile scanning machines and doctors are doing brisk business in rural areas. It has been estimated that there are 25,770 officially registered pre-natal units in India.

5. The people are well educated but the mindset and attitude of the people yet to be changed in order to curb the female feticide in Toto.


1.  Strict Vigilance over the ill practices of Clinical Operations to abide by the law.

2. Customary implementation of the amended law.

Judicial Follow Up

Supreme Court gave the following directions in furtherance of its previous orders which were:

1. For effective implementation of the amended Act, advertisements must be published in order to raise awareness by regulating the use of electronic media being a path breaker, advocating equality in democracy.

2. Publication of the Quarterly reports which are submitted to the supervisory board by the appropriate authority.

3. Maintaining of all the due recordings by the respective authorities.

4. The reports shall be sent to the central Supervisory Board and state Supervisory Board for necessary actions.

5. Transparency should be adjudicated.

Central Government

1.  The central government is directed by the apex court to create public awareness against the practice or prenatal determination of sex and female foeticide through appropriate platforms offered by the electronic media. This shall be conducted by the Central Supervisory Board under Section 16(3) of the adopted Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( Regulation and prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994.

2. The center is directed to implement the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( Regulation and prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994, Rule 15 which provides for the intervening period between the two meetings of the advisory  Committees which are constituted under Subsection (5) of Section 17 of the  Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( Regulation and prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994.

Central Supervisory Board (CSB)

1. The meeting of the CSB will be held at least once, in 6 months, its constitution has been provided under Section 7. It empowers the government to elect and appoint the top 10 members under Section 7(2) (e) which embarks eminent medical practitioners, including eminent social scientists and representatives of women welfare organizations.

2. It shall review and monitor the implementation of the Act.

3. It shall issue directions to all the state/UT appropriate authorities to furnish quarterly returns to CSB giving a report on the implementation of the Act which should include:

  • Survey of the bodies under Section 3 of the Act.
  • Registration of the bodies specified in Section 3 of the Act.
  • Action against the non-governmental bodies which are in violation of Section 3 of the Act including search and seizures of records.
  • Complaints were received by the appropriate authorities.
  • Total number and nature of the awareness campaigns organized and conducted.

4. It shall examine the necessity to amend the Act keeping in mind emerging technologies and difficulties encountered in the implementation of the Act and to make recommendations to the central government under Section 16 of the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( Regulation and prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994.

5.  It shall lay down a code of conduct under Section 16(4) of to be observed by persons working in bodies specified therein and to ensure its publication so that the public could acknowledge by the public at large.

6. It will require the medical professional bodies to create awareness against the practice of prenatal determination of sex and implementation of the Act.

State Government/ Union Administrations

1.  All the state governments are directed to appoint appropriate authorities at district and sub-district levels and also the advisory committees to aid and advice the appropriate authorities in discharging their respective functionalities under Section 17(5) of the Act, moreover, it has been mentioned that there is a need of persons who can actually devote their time to the work that has been assigned to them under Section 17(6) (d) of the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( Regulation and prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994.

2. It has been administered that all the state governments are directed to publish a list of the appropriate authorities in print and electronic media in their respective state.

3. All the state governments are directed to administer public awareness against the prenatal determination of sex in order to prevent the bigger damage which can effectively be done through constructive advertising techniques through print or electronic media by hoardings and other means.

4. All the state governments are directed to prepare and furnish quarterly returns to CSB providing a report on the implementation and working of the Act.


It is unfortunate that the practice of female infanticide still prevails in the Indian society, in order to combat the rising social evil the government of India enacted the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( Regulation and prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994  moreover to allow effective implementation of the same the supreme court directed the Central government and all the state governments to file their responses and allegedly comply with the required amendments in the current legal structure with respect to an articulated vigilance over the clinical center with in furtherance of the certain dignified rules and regulations.


The prenatal diagnostic Technique (Prevention and Misuse) 1994 is a masterpiece of legislation that prohibits female feticide in India. The object behind this Act is to maintain the balance of the sex ratio. There is a need to take protective measures by the legislature, administrator, non-governmental organization and society. The provisions of the PCPNDT Act 1994 should be strictly implemented. Legal measures will not bring about a revolutionary change in existing women’s conditions but it acts as a supplement. Media both print and electronic play a very significant role in removing gender bias and developing a positive image of the girl child in society. It is not easy to change overnight the attitude of women towards female feticide. It takes time to change the mindset of the public. The government has initiated many programs like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Sukanya Samridhi Account to encourage the birth rate and education of girl child and also end gender discrimination practices Government should see these schemes should be properly implemented and finally the directions of the courts regarding the prevention of female feticide should be strictly followed by the Central Advisory Board and Appropriate Authority.


1. Who were the petitioners in the following case?

Centre for Enquiry Into Health and allied theme (CEHAT), Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal (MASUM), Dr. Sabu M. Georges were the petitioners in the following case.

2. When was the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( Regulation and prevention of Misuse Act came into force?

1st January, 1996

3. Centre for an enquiry into health and allied themes( CEHAT) and NGO is based in?

CEHAT is Pune and Mumbai based NGO.

4. Under which Article the petitioners approached the apex court?

Article 32

5. Under which S

ection was the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques ( Regulation and prevention of Misuse) of CSB adopted?



1. https://www.legitquest.com/case/cehat-v-union-of-india/1ef2

2. http://lawtimesjournal.in/centre-for-inquiry-into-health-allied-themescehat-vs-unionof-india/

3. https://hrln.org/litigation/voluntary-health-assn-of-punjab-v-union-of-india-and-others-2016-10-scc-265

4. https://www.lawnn.com/centre-for-enquiry-into-health-and-allied-themes-cehat-v-union-of-india/

5. https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/58117f132713e179478e9c49

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