PNDT Rules 2014: Geneticist may not be required to take the test

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Order: The matter is listed before this Court pursuant to the request made by the learned counsel for the Appellants with reference to the Competency Based Test, 2019 scheduled to be held on 9th of this month to continue to practice which is subject matter of this writ appeal.

The learned counsel for the Appellants submits that the Appellants herein are qualified MBBS doctors and they do come within the purview of the definition of the term medical geneticist as defined under Section  2(g) of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (hereinafter referred to as PCPNDT Act).

By virtue of this, it is not at all obligatory for the persons like the Appellants herein to prove their competency by participating in the Competency Based Test, which the State is conducting in terms of the PCPNDT Act and the Rules framed thereunder.

The stand of the Respondents is that, the test is being conducted strictly in conformity with the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) (Six Months Training)  Rules,  2014  (hereinafter  referred  to as PCPNDT Rules).

Shri Sudeep Agrawal, the learned Deputy Advocate General for the State, submits that Rule 6 of the PCPNDT Rules specifically stipulates that the persons like the Appellants have to prove their competency by appearing in the test and that the exception given is only to the specific categories mentioned therein.

The learned counsel for the Appellants submits that the Rules have been framed contrary to the provisions of the statute; adding that, any Rule is only to sub-serve the main purpose of the Act and never to travel beyond the same, by virtue of the settled position of law. It is however brought to the notice of this Court that the vires of the Rules is already under challenge before the Supreme Court and the matter is pending there.

After hearing both the sides and also considering the orders passed by this Court on the earlier occasions, we do not find any reason to interdict the test scheduled to be held on 9th of February 2020. However, in view of the submissions made on behalf of the Appellants across the Bar that, they do not require to satisfy any such test, it is for the Appellants herein to decide whether they should participate in the test or not.

We make it clear that the test to be conducted and the outcome shall of course depend upon the fate of this appeal and also the law to be declared by the Apex Court with regard to the challenge against the Rules.

Learned counsel for the Appellant seeks for time to file rejoinder. Post these matters on 17.03.2020.

Judges

P.R. Ramachandra Menon Chief Justice

Parth Prateem Sahu Judge

HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH, BILASPUR, Order Sheet, WA No. 611 of 2019

Dr. Shailja Ghosh Versus State of Chhattisgarh WA No.612 of 2019: 04.02.2020

Shri Sunil Otwani, Shri Khowaja Siddiqui and Shri Keshav Dewangan, Advocates for the respective Appellants. Shri Sudeep Agrawal, Deputy Advocate General for the State.

Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA