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PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES (REGULATION AND PREVENTION OF MISUSE) AMENDMENT ACT, 2002

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 14 of 2003


  • Act nº 14 of 2003

Preamble

THE PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES (REGULATION AND PREVENTION OF MISUSE) AMENDMENT ACT, 2002

[Act, No. 14 of 2003]

[17th January, 2003]

PREAMBLE

An Act further to amend the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-third Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Section 1. Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act, 2002.

(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

Section 2. Substitution of long title

In the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse)Act, 1994 (57 of 1994) (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), for the long title, the following long title shall be substituted, namely:--

"An Act to provide for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception, and for regulation of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the purposes of detecting genetic abnormalities or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or certain congenital malformations or sex-linked disorders and for the prevention of their misuse for sex determination leading to female foeticide and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.".

Section 3. Amendment of section 1

In section 1 of the principal Act, in sub-section (1), for the words and brackets "the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse)", the words and brackets "the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection)" shall be substituted.

Section 4. Amendment of section 2

In section 2 of the principal Act,--

(i) after clause (b), the following clauses shall be inserted, namely:--

'(ba) "conceptus" means any product of conception at any stage of development from fertilisation until birth including extra embryonic membranes as well as the embryo or foetus;

(bb) "embryo" means a developing human organism after fertilisation [ill the end of eight weeks (fifty-six days);

(bc) "foetus" means a human organism during the period of its development beginning on the fifty-seventh day following fertilisation or creation (excluding any time in which its development has been suspended) and ending at the birth;';

(ii) in clause (d), the following Explanation shall be added, namely:--

'Explanation.--For the purposes of this clause, "Genetic Clinic" includes a vehicle, where ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or other equipment capable of determining sex of the foetus or a portable equipment which has the potential for detection of sex during pregnancy or selection of sex before conception, is used;';

(iii) in clause (e), the following Explanation shall be added, namely:--

'Explanation.--For the purposes of this clause, "Genetic Laboratory" includes a place where ultrasound machine or imaging machine, or scanner or other equipment capable of determining sex of the foetus or a portable equipment which has the potential for detection of sex during pregnancy or selection of sex before conception, is used;';

(iv) for clause (g), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:--

'(g) "medical geneticist" includes a person who possesses a degree or diploma in genetic science in the fields of sex selection and pre-natal diagnostic techniques or has experience of not less than two years in any of these fields 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;';

(v) for clause (i), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:--

'(i) "pre-natal diagnostic procedures" means all gynaecological or obstetrical or medical procedures such as ultrasonography, foetoscopy, taking or removing samples of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, embryo, blood or any other tissue or fluid of a man, or of a woman before or after conception, for being sent to a Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic for conducting any type of analysis or pre-natal diagnostic tests for selection of sex before or after conception;';

(vi) for clause (k), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:--

'(k) "pre-natal diagnostic test" means ultrasonography or any test or analysis of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood or any tissue or fluid of a pregnant woman or conceptus conducted to detect genetic or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or congenital anomalies or haemoglobinopathies or sex linked diseases;';

(vii) after clause (n), the following clauses shall be inserted, namely:--

'(o) "sex selection" includes any procedure, technique, test or administration or prescription or provision of anything for the purpose of ensuring or increasing the probability that an embryo will be of a particular sex;

(p) "sonologist or imaging specialist" means a person who possesses any one of the medical qualifications recognised under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (102 of 1956) or who possesses a post-graduate qualification in ultrasonography or imaging techniques or radiology;

(q) "State Board" means a State Supervisory Board or a Union territory Supervisory Board constituted under section 16A;

(r) "State Government" in relation to Union territory with Legislature means the Administrator of that Union territory appointed by the President under article 239 of the Constitution.'.

Section 5. Amendment of section 3

In section 3 of the principal Act, for clause (2), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:--

"(2) no Genetic Counselling Centre or Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall employ or cause to be employed or take services of any person, whether on honorary basis or on payment who docs not possess the qualifications as may be prescribed.".

Section 6. Insertion of new sections 3A and 3B

After section 3 of the principal Act, the following sections shall be inserted, namely:--

"3A. Prohibition of sex selection .--

No person, including a specialist or a team of specialists in the field of infertility, shall conduct or cause to be conducted or aid in conducting by himself or by any other person, sex selection on a woman or a man or on both or on any tissue, embryo, conceptus, fluid or gametes derived from cither or both of them.

3B. Prohibition on sale of ultrasound machine, etc., to persons, laboratories, clinics, etc., not registered under the Act .--

No person shall sell any ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of the foetus to any Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory, Genetic Clinic or any other person not registered under the Act".

Section 7. Amendment of section 4

In section 4 of the principal Act, for clauses (3) and (4), the following clauses shall be substituted, namely:--

"(3) no pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall be used or conducted unless the person qualified to do so is satisfied for reasons to be recorded in writing 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 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 or her spouse 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 Board:

Provided that the person conducting ultrasonography on a pregnant woman shall keep complete record thereof in the clinic in such manner, as may be prescribed, and any deficiency or inaccuracy found therein shall amount to contravention of the provisions of section 5 or section 6 unless contrary is proved by the person conducting such ultrasonography;

(4) no person including a relative or husband of the pregnant woman shall seek or encourage the conduct of any pre-natal diagnostic techniques on her except for the purposes specified in clause (2);

(5) no person including a relative or husband of a woman shall seek or encourage the conduct of any sex selection technique on her or him or both.".

Section 8. Amendment of section 5

In section 5 of the principal Act, for sub-section (2), the following sub-section shall be substituted, namely:--

"(2) No person including the person conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures shall communicate to the pregnant woman concerned or her relatives or any other person the sex of the foetus by words, signs, or in any other manner.".

Section 9. Amendment of section 6

In section 6 of the principal Act, after clause (b), the following clause shall be inserted, namely:--

"(c) no person shall, by whatever means, cause or allow to be caused selection of sex before or after conception.".

Section 10. Amendment of section 7

In section 7 of the principal Act,--

(i) in sub-section (2), for clause (c), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:--

"(c) three members to be appointed by the Central Government to represent the Ministries of Central Government in charge of Women and Child Development, Department of Legal Affairs or Legislative Department in the Ministry of Law and Justice, and Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy, ex officio;";

(ii) in clause (e), for sub-clause (ii), the following sub-clause shall be substituted, namely:--

"(ii) eminent gynaecologist and obstetrician or expert of stri-roga or prasuti-tantra".

Section 11. Amendment of section 14

In section 14 of the principal Act, for clause (f), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:--

"(f) has, in the opinion of the Central Government, been associated with the use or promotion of pre-natal diagnostic technique for determination of sex or with any sex selection technique.".

Section 12. Amendment of section 15

In section 15 of the principal Act, the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:--

"Provided that no member other than an ex officio member shall be appointed for more than two consecutive terms.".

Section 13. Substitution of new section for section 16

For section 16 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:--

"16. Functions of the Board .--

The Board shall have the following functions, namely:--

(i) to advise the Central Government on policy matters relating to use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, sex selection techniques and against their misuse;

(ii) to review and monitor implementation of the Act and rules made thereunder and recommend to the Central Government changes in the said Act and rules;

(iii) to create public awareness against the practice of pre-conception sex selection and pre-natal determination of sex of foetus leading to female foeticide;

(iv) to lay down code of conduct to be observed by persons working at Genetic Counselling Centres, Genetic Laboratories and Genetic Clinics;

(v) to oversee the performance of various bodies constituted under the Act and take appropriate steps to ensure its proper and effective implementation;

(vi) any other functions as may be prescribed under the Act.".

Section 14. Insertion of new section 16A

After section 16 of the principal Act, the following section shall be inserted, namely:--

"16A. Constitution of State Supervisory Board and Union territory Supervisory Board .--

(1) Each State and Union territory having Legislature shall constitute a Board to be known as the State Supervisory Board or the Union territory Supervisory Board, as the case may be, which shall have the following functions:--

(i) to create public awareness against the practice of pre-conception sex selection and pre-natal determination of sex of the foetus leading to female foeticide in the State;

(ii) to review the activities of the Appropriate Authorities functioning in the State and recommend appropriate action against them;

(iii) to monitor the implementation of provisions of the Act and the rules and make suitable recommendations relating thereto, to the Board;

(iv) to send such consolidated reports as may be prescribed in respect of the various activities undertaken in the State under the Act to the Board and the Central Government; and

(v) any other functions as may be prescribed under the Act. (2) The State Board shall consist of,--

(a) the Minister in charge of Health and Family Welfare in the State, who shall be the Chairperson, ex officio;

(b) Secretary in charge of the Department of Health and Family Welfare who shall be the Vice-Chairperson, ex officio;

(c) Secretaries or Commissioners in charge of Departments of Women and Child Development, Social Welfare, Law and Indian System of Medicines and Homoeopathy, ex officio, or their representatives;

(d) Director of Health and Family Welfare or Indian System of Medicines and Homoeopathy of the State Government, ex officio;

(e) three women members of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council;

(f) ten members to be appointed by the State Government out of which two each shall be from the following categories,--

(i) eminent social scientists and legal experts;

(ii) eminent women activists from non-governmental organisations or otherwise;

(iii) eminent gynaecologists and obstetricians or experts of stri-roga or prasuti-tantra;

(iv) eminent paediatricians or medical geneticists;

(v) eminent radiologists or sonologists;

(g) an officer not below the rank of Joint Director in charge of Family Welfare, who shall be the Member Secretary, ex officio.

(3) The State Board shall meet at least once in four months.

(4) The term of office of a member, other than an ex officio member, shall be three years.

(5) If a vacancy occurs in the office of any member other than an ex officio member, it shall be filled by making fresh appointment.

(6) If a member of the Legislative Assembly or member of the Legislative Council who is a member of the State Board, becomes Minister or Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly or Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of the Legislative Council, she shall cease to be a member of the State Board.

(7) One-third of the total number of members of the State Board shall constitute the quorum.

(8) The State Board may co-opt a member as and when required, provided that the number of co-opted members does not exceed one-third of the total strength of the State Board.

(9) The co-opted members shall have the same powers and functions as other members, except the right to vote and shall abide by the rules and regulations.

(10) In respect of matters not specified in this section, the State Board shall follow procedures and conditions as are applicable to the Board.".