Free Press Journal

Female child has equal rights like boys: Supreme Court


New Delhi: “Female child is entitled to enjoy equal rights that a male child is allowed to have,” the Supreme Court observed today, passing a slew of directions, including maintinence of an all-India database of new borns to curb female foeticide.

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The apex court said the menace of female foeticide corrodes human values and decreases the sex ratio, which is a sign of “colossal calamity” that cannot be allowed to happen.

The bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said the constitutional identity of a girl child “cannot be mortgaged to any kind of social or other concept that has developed or is thought of”.

Holding that there is no room for any kind of compromise, the bench also, comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, said the Constitution only permits affirmative steps and “the question of any kind of condescension or patronisation does not arise”.

The bench passed 16 directions to ensure immediate and effective implementation of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act and the Rules framed thereunder.

“All the States and the Union Territories in India shall maintain a centralised database of civil registration records from all registration units so that information can be made available from the website regarding the number of boys and girls being born.

“The information that shall be displayed on the website shall contain birth information for each District, Municipality, Corporation or Gram Panchayat so that a visual comparison of boys and girls born can be immediately seen,” the bench said in its 43-page verdict.

The apex court also directed that the states and UTs which do not have any incentive schemes for the girl child shall frame the same.

“If there has been violation of any of the provisions of the Act or the Rules, proper action has to be taken by the authorities under the Act so that the legally inapposite acts are immediately curbed,” the bench said, adding that the courts dealing with such complaints “shall be fast tracked and the concerned High Courts shall issue appropriate directions”.

It said that courts dealing with such complaints shall hear these matters “in promptitude and submit the quarterly report to the High Courts through the concerned Sessions and District Judge”.