Doc on watchdog panel convicted

Dr Mohan Nagne gets 3 yrs in prison; court imposes Rs 7,000 fine

A doctor was yesterday convicted by a Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court in the city of conducting a foetus sex determination test in violation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. 

Dr Mohan Nagne of Aundh Chest Hospital was sentenced to three years' imprisonment. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 7,000 on him. Dr Nagne is a member of the Pune District Advisory Committee which oversees the implementation of the PCPNDT Act in the city. 

A couple of months ago, Satara-based Dr Ambadas Chavan had been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1.5 lakh in a related offence. In Nagne's case, the hearings carried on for almost six years. Nagne is a radiologist in Aundh Chest Hospital and was caught carrying out the pre-natal sex determination test during a sting operation in January 2006. 

A pregnant woman was used as a  decoy and sent by Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana and Tathapi Sanghatna to a private clinic of Dr Nagne. The doctor asked for Rs 3,000 for the test and revealed that the child was a boy.  
The accused was convicted of violations of the PCPNDT Act, that included performing the sex determination test and revealing the sex to the mother, conducting the test without the mother's consent and non-maintenance of records.

According to Kiran Moghe, state president of Janwani Mahila Sanghtana, it was the first case in the district where the highest punishment was awarded.  "We hope that the judgment will act as a strong deterrent and send a signal to those doctors who continue to indulge in the serious crime of sex selection," Moghe said. 

"It is all the more important because Dr Nagne was not only a government employee but a member of the Pune District Advisory Committee which oversees the implementation of the PCPNDT Act in Pune. It shows the need for the authorities to examine the composition of these committees at all levels and ensure that they comprise of those reputed individuals who will ensure that the law is upheld."

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