Delhi’s Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) cell recently started taking the help of decoys and whistleblowers to learn about possible sex-determination practice happening in sonography centres.
To reward and encourage whistleblowers, the Delhi administration has proposed prize money of Rs 2 lakh to people who give information about unregistered ultrasound centres. It also proposed rewarding Rs 50,000 each to the informer and decoy for a successful raid against sex determination.
“Like Haryana, we are trying to establish our own informer-reward scheme so that people have an incentive to inform us about any centre performing sex-selection and pregnant women are willing to take the risk of being decoys,” Dr Satyajit Kumar, Delhi’s state programme officer, PC-PNDT told Hindustan Times.
The administration has filed the final draft proposal, scheduled to be discussed in the next Cabinet meeting.
“If this happens, we will be able to receive information locally and conduct raids in all parts of Delhi with our team,” said Dr Kumar.
Recently, a doctor in northwest Delhi was arrested for carrying out such illegal tests.
Over the past two years, 15 successful raids have taken place in centres conducting illegal sex-determination tests with the help of decoys. Delhi’s PC-PNDT cell raided and sealed these notorious centres.
The Sting Operation
In the latest case, the PC-PNDT cell planned the raid on the basis of a tip-off from Haryana‘s PC- PNDT cell. The raid involved a pregnant woman who was sent to the centre with Rs 40,000 marked currency.
The raid went on for six hours in which the cell officials followed the decoy using GPS. She first met a mediator and gave him Rs 6,000. Then she was taken on a long drive in a car to a village. There, she paid another Rs 22,000 to a middleman and then she was finally told to go to a hospital in Northwest Delhi for the ultrasound.
On reaching the hospital, she paid Rs 2,000 to the doctor’s assistant and Rs 10,000 to the doctor. After she paid all the money in hard cash, she was taken in for ultrasound without filling the mandatory forms that have to be filled before doing an ultrasound of a pregnant woman.
“As soon as the doctor began the ultrasound, the team barged into the room. We found Rs 18,000 in pre-matched currency in the doctor’s office,” said Dr Kumar.
An FIR has been lodged against two mediators, the doctor’s assistant and the doctor and an ultrasound machine has been sealed.