SC seeks details on steps taken to improve sex ratio

New Delhi: Expressing concern over female foeticide and the falling sex ratio, the Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre to file an affidavit indicating the steps it had taken to curb pre-natal sex determination tests for improving the sex ratio which is sliding in most states.

"The affidavit shall clearly indicate what steps have been taken and on the basis of the steps taken, what results have been achieved," said the apex court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice N.V. Ramana.

The court said that affidavit should be filed by "the additional secretary of health and/or any other concerned additional secretary which shall reflect the response in the proper perspective".

The court recorded 29 suggestions made by senior counsel Colin Gonsalves appearing for the petitioner NGO Voluntary Health Association of Punjab on which it had sought the response of the Centre and the States.

The NGO has sought direction to the "central supervisory board to review the functioning of the state/UT supervisory boards and submit a report to this court within one month."

It further sought direction for immediate "reconstitution of the state and union territory supervisory boards".

The court asked the state governments also to file comprehensive affidavits "reflecting sincerity and responsibility" in curbing sex determination tests. "It should not be an affidavit in formality", the court said.

Posting the next hearing of the matter Nov 25, 2014, the court gave four weeks to the states to respond, making exception in the case of Jammu and Kashmir by giving it six weeks to file affidavit.

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