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On what basis did you allege Shah Rukh had conducted gender test, HC asks activist

Justice R P Sondurbaldota was hearing a petition filed by activist Varsha Deshpande for early hearing of the complaint filed by her in a local court seeking action against Shah Rukh, Gauri and others under the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act.

"On what basis are you (Deshpande) saying that the sex of the child was determined before its birth? When was the statement made? Was it made before the birth of the child or after?" Justice Sondurbaldota inquired.

The court posted the matter for hearing on August 26 and directed Deshpande to submit documents on the basis of which she filed a complaint.

SRK

Deshpande had in her complaint alleged the child's gender had been determined before birth, thereby violating the sections of the Act.

The 47-year-old actor's third child was born to a surrogate mother recently at a private hospital, the complaint said and said gender testing was banned under the Act.

A metropolitan magistrate had on August 8 issued notices to the actor, his wife and other respondents and posted the matter for hearing on September 12.

Aggrieved by this, Deshpande approached the High Court seeking early hearing and disposal of the case.

"The Supreme Court in a judgement had said that all cases under the PCPNDT Act should be heard and decided within six months. By giving such a long date, there are chances of destruction or construction of reports," advocate Uday Warunjikar argued.

Warunjikar said that after a newspaper report appeared on June 14 regarding the couple having a baby boy, Deshpande issued a notice to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seeking them to conduct an inquiry. Soon thereafter, civic officials had visited the actor's house on June 17 to ascertain the facts. However, the team was sent away and the actor had rubbished allegations that the provisions of the Act had been violated.

The complainant alleged the civic officials had failed to take action against the couple and hence she moved the magistrate's court with a fresh complaint.

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