Nashik: The city civic body has filed a case in local court against Hindutva activist Sambhaji Bhide on charge of allegedly violating the anti-sex determination law by his “mangoes for sons” remark, a civic official said on Wednesday. The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) moved the court, after Bhide failed to appear before an NMC panel to explain his remarks.
“Health department of the NMC on Tuesday lodged a complaint against Shiv Pratisthan founder Manohar alias Sambhaji Bhide in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) on charge of violating section 22 ofthe Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act,” said Dr Jairam Kothari, Medical Officer, NMC.
Bhide had last month claimed that a number of couples were blessed with sons after eating mangoes from his orchard. “Mangoes are powerful and nutritious. Some women who ate mangoes of my garden have given birth to sons,” he had said, addressing a gathering in Nashik. Dr Kothari said the court might issue a summons against Bhide seeking his personal appearance.
The ex-RSS activist had drawn flak from various quarters for his remarks. Additional Director of Health, Pune, had directed the NMC to look into the matter after receiving a complaint from a member of the Ahmednagar civic body’s committee on the PCPNDT Act.
The NMC’s own advisory committee on PCPNDT Act, which works under the corporation’s health department, then probed the matter and submitted a report to the Nashik commissioner. The panel had served a notice to Bhide, seeking his explanation, but he did not appear before it. Bhide, who heads Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, is also an accused in the January 1 Bhima Koregaon caste violence case.