Any discrimination of women needs prompt burial, says SC

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that any perception – historical, individual, group or a system – that treats women with “inequity, indignity, inequality or any kind of discrimination is constitutionally impermissible” and has to be given “prompt burial”.

The bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, in their judgment, said: “Female foeticide is conceived by the society that definitely includes the parents because of unethical perception of life and nonchalant attitude towards law.”

“The society that treats man and woman with equal dignity shows the reflections of a progressive and civilised society. To think that a woman should think what a man or a society wants her to think is tantamount to slaughtering her choice, and definitely a humiliating act” said Justice Misra speaking for the bench.

“When freedom of free choice is allowed within constitutional and statutory parameters, others cannot determine the norms as that would amount to acting in derogation of law,” said the court, as it issued 16 directions to curb female foeticide and reverse alarming male-female ratio.

The court directed that all the states and union territories “shall maintain a centralised database of civil registration records from all registration units so that information can be made available from the website regarding the number of boys and girls being born”.

Information displayed on the website “shall contain the birth information for each District, Municipality, Corporation or Gram Panchayat so that a visual comparison of boys and girls born can be immediately seen”.

The statutory authorities, the court directed, if not constituted, as envisaged under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, “shall be constituted forthwith” and the competent authorities shall take steps for the reconstitution of the statutory bodies so that they can become immediately functional after expiry of the term.

The court said that the statutory authorities “shall meet regularly so that the provisions of the Act can be implemented in reality and the effectiveness of the legislation is felt and realised in the society”.

As court issued fresh directions, it noted that despite the directions issued by the court earlier, there had not been proper implementation and that has compelled the petitioner, the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab to knock the doors of the top court.

Having issued 16 directions, the court said: “When freedom of free choice is allowed within constitutional and statutory parameters, others cannot determine the norms as that would amount to acting in derogation of law.”

Decrease in the sex ratio is a sign of colossal calamity, the judgment said, adding “it cannot be allowed to happen. Concrete steps have to be taken to increase the same so that invited social disasters do not befall on the society”.

The present generation, the judgment said, “is expected to be responsible to the posterity and not to take such steps to sterilise the birth rate in violation of law. The societal perception has to be metamorphosed having respect to legal postulates”.

–IANS

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