THE PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES (PNDT) ACT & RULES
THE PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES & Social questions
THE PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES (PNDT) ACT & RULES
[20th September, 1994]
An Act to provide for the regulation of the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the purpose of detecting genetic or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or certain congenital malformations or sex linked disorders and for the prevention of the misuse of such techniques for the purpose of pre-natal sex determination leading to female foeticide; and, for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--
1.Short title, extent and commencement.- (1) This Act may be called the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994.
(2) It shall extend to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. Definitions.- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--
(a) "Appropriate Authority" means the Appropriate Authority appointed under section 17;
(b) "Board" means the Central Supervisory Board constituted under section 7;
(c) "Genetic Counseling Centre" means an institute, hospital, nursing home or any place, by whatever name called, which provides for genetic counselling to patients;
(d) "Genetic Clinic" means a clinic, institute, hospital, nursing home or any place, by whatever name called, which is used for conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures;
(e) "Genetic Laboratory" means a laboratory and includes a place where facilities are provided for conducting analysis or tests of samples received from Genetic Clinic for pre-natal diagnostic test;
(f) "Gynecologist" means a person who possesses a post- graduate qualification in gynecology and obstetrics;
(g) "Medical geneticist" means a person who possesses a degree or diploma or certificate in medical genetics in the field of pre-natal diagnostic techniques or has experience of not less than two years in such field 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;
(h) "Pediatrician" means a person who possesses a post- graduate qualification in pediatrics;
(i) "pre-natal diagnostic procedures" means all gynecological or obstetrical or medical procedures such as ultrasonography foetoscopy, taking or removing samples of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood or any tissue of a pregnant woman for being sent to a Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic for conducting pre-natal diagnostic test;
(j) "pre-natal diagnostic techniques" includes all pre-natal diagnostic procedures and pre-natal diagnostic tests;
(k) "pre-natal diagnostic test" means ultrasonography or any test or analysis of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood or any tissue of a pregnant woman conducted to detect genetic or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or congenital anomalies or haemoglobinopathies or sex-linked diseases;
(l) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(m) "registered medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner who possesses any recognised medical qualification as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, (102 of 1956.) and whose name has been entered in a State Medical Register;
(n) "regulations" means regulations framed by the Board under this Act.
The Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994, was enacted and brought into operation from 1st January, 1996, in order to check female foeticide. Rules have also been framed under the Act. The Act prohibits determination and disclosure of the sex of foetus . It also prohibits any advertisements relating to pre-natal determination of sex and prescribes punishment for its contravention. The person who contravenes the provisions of this Act is punishable with imprisonment and fine.
Recently, PNDT Act and Rules have been amended keeping in view the emerging technologies for selection of sex before and after conception and problems faced in the working of implementation of the ACT and certain directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court after a PIL was filed in May, 2000 by CEHAT and Ors, an NGO on slow implementation of the Act. These amendments have come into operation with effect from 14th February, 2003
REGULATION OF PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES
4. Regulation of pre-natal diagnostic techniques.- On and from the commencement of this Act,--
(1) no place including a registered Genetic Counselling Centre or Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall be used or caused to be used by any person for conducting pre-natal diagnostic techniques except for the purposes specified in clause (2) and after satisfying any of the conditions specified in clause (3);
(2) no pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall be conducted except for the purposes of detection of any of the following abnormalities, namely:--
(i) chromosomal abnormalities;
(ii) genetic metabolic diseases;
(iv) sex-linked genetic diseases;
(v) congenital anomalies;
(vi) any other abnormalities or diseases as may be specified by the Central Supervisory Board;
(3) no pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall be used or conducted unless the person qualified to do so is satisfied that any of the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:--
(i) age of the pregnant woman is above thirty-five years;
(ii) the pregnant woman has undergone of two or more spontaneous abortions or foetal loss;
(iii) the pregnant woman had been exposed to potentially teratogenic agents such as drugs, radiation, infection or chemicals;
(iv) the pregnant woman has a family history of mental retardation or physical deformities such as spasticity or any other genetic disease;
(v) any other condition as may be specified by the Central Supervisory Board;
(4) no person, being a relative or the husband of the pregnant woman shall seek or encourage the conduct of any pre-natal diagnostic techniques on her except for the purpose specified in clause (2).
5. Written consent of pregnant woman and prohibition of communicating the sex of foetus. (1) No person referred to in clause (2) of section 3 shall conduct the pre-natal diagnostic procedures unless—
(a) he has explained all known side and after effects of such procedures to the pregnant woman concerned;
(b) he has obtained in the prescribed form her written consent to undergo such procedures in the language which she understands; and
(c) a copy of her written consent obtained under clause (b) is given to the pregnant woman.
(2) No person conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures shall communicate to the pregnant woman concerned or her relatives the sex of the foetus by words, signs or in any other manner.
6. Determination of sex prohibited.- On and from the commencement of this Act,--
(a) no Genetic Counselling Centre or Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall conduct or cause to be conducted in its Centre, Laboratory or Clinic, pre-natal diagnostic techniques including ultrasonography, for the purpose of determining the sex of a foetus;
(b) no person shall conduct or cause to be conducted any pre-natal diagnostic techniques including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of a foetus.
CENTRAL SUPERVISORY BOARD
7. Constitution of Central Supervisory Board.- (1) The Central Government shall constitute a Board to be known as the Central Supervisory Board to exercise the powers and perform the functions conferred on the Board under this Act.
(2) The Board shall consist of—
(a) the Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department of Family Welfare, who shall be the Chairman, ex officio;
(b) the Secretary to the Government of India in charge of the Department of Family Welfare, who shall be the Vice-Chairman, ex-officio;
(c) two members to be appointed by the Central Government to represent the Ministries of Central Government in charge of Woman and Child Development and of Law and Justice, ex-officio;
(d) the Director General of Health Services of the Central Government, ex officio;
(e) ten members to be appointed by the Central Government, two each from amongst—
(i) eminent medical geneticists;
(ii) eminent gynaecologists and obstetricians;
(iii) eminent paediatricians;
(iv) eminent social scientists; and
(v) representatives of women welfare organisations;
(f) three women Members of Parliament, of whom two shall be elected by the House of the People and one by the Council of States;
(g) four members to be appointed by the Central Government by rotation to represent the States and the Union territories, two in the alphabetical order and two in the reverse alphabetical order:
Provided that no appointment under this clause shall be made except on the recommendation of the State Government or, as the case may be, the Union territory;