The Delhi government has told the Delhi High Court that if ultrasound machines are allowed to be portable, it would lead to drastic increase in illegal sex determination and offences of illegal abortion and female foeticide would become a legal and social menace.
The Department of Health and Family Welfare made the argument after a petition was filed by a 70-year-old man challenging the rules framed under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and as well as a notification issued by the Delhi Government in February 2015.
These rules and notification prevent a person from accessing a portable ultrasound machine outside registered premises for providing services to indoor patients and on mobile medical units.
In its response, the government has said that the aim of the prohibition is to prevent use of ultrasound machines at unregistered places which would make it impossible to track and take penal action against offenders who indulge in sex-determination and female foeticide.
The petitioner had approached the High Court stating that he suffers from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, which attacks the brain and nerve cells causing acute problems with balance, movement, vision and speech, and is receiving treatment at a home ICU.
The Court was told that he has to be taken to the hospital to undergo ultrasound procedures but his condition has deteriorated and now he cannot be taken there for further treatment.
After hearing the plea, Justice Sanjeev Narula directed a private hospital in Delhi to transport an ultrasound machine to his house.
The Court said that the man’s right to life would be violated if provisions of PCPNDT Act were to be interpreted in a manner that prevents him from accessing essential medical treatment.