Press Release

02 June 2017

Delhi Government not serious to female foeticide: Neither the Mukhbir scheme nor improvement of the Ladli scheme despite 52,700 cases of dropout is on the agenda

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its report, Delhi: Disabling the Girl Child?”, stated that “There is little seriousness on the part of the Delhi Government of to address female foeticide leading to skewed sex ratio” of 871 girls per 1000 boy as per 2011 census. As per the Sex Ratio at Birth, the CSR is all set to drastically fall below 871 as per 2011 census.

“The failure to launch the Mukhbir scheme to award those helping exposing those indulging in sex selection despite the announcement in October 2016 exposes the lack of seriousness of the Delhi Government on the issue.” –stated Paritosh Chakma, Director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights.

The report stated that though 38 cases of foeticide were registered in Delhi during 2005 to 2014, only one conviction under the PC&PNDT Act took place from 2009 to September 2014. After the interventions of the Supreme Court in Voluntary Health Association of Punjab case, six more convictions took place in 2015 but thereafter the cases are not being followed. On the other hand, in 2014 alone, the Health department cancelled registrations of 43 radiologists and clinics and sealed 11 ultra sonography machines for conducting sex determination of foetuses.

“There is huge gap between actual number of offences committed under the PC&PNDT Act, the number of cases registered and extremely low rate of convictions. Instead of launching the Mukhbir Scheme or surprise investigation, the Delhi Government issued ludicrous show cause notices to 89 hospitals and nursing homes whose SRB ranged from 285:1000 (Female: Male) to 788:1000 during 2014-2015. Will any institution self-incriminate in their responses?” – asked Mr Chakma.

The Ladli Scheme, the main programme of the Government of NCT of Delhi for retention of the girl child, too has failed have the desired impact. The scheme was launched without having data of intended beneficiaries to be covered under the scheme and without fixing any annual target, financial or physical and without identifying the roles of stakeholders. The primary targets of the Ladli Scheme are the socially and economically backward sections of society i.e. those below the poverty line but Delhi having 90% of the population Above Poverty Line (APL) families, about 90% of the population are indeed excluded from the Ladli scheme. Further, the requirement of renewal of the scheme at each milestone i.e. at the time of birth and admissions in different classes i.e. Class I, VI, IX, X and XII had been found to be so cumbersome that about 42% of beneficiary girls i.e. 52,700 girls were dropped from the Ladli Scheme due to non-renewal of their cases at different stages during 2010-11 to 2011-12. Further, out of 73,108 cases i.e. 58.11% which renewed as of October 2012, in about 43% of beneficiaries as the Government of NCT of Delhi failed to finalise their maturity claims. The Government of Delhi failed to remove these difficulties as on date.

ACHR urged the Government of Delhi to revise the Delhi Ladli Scheme to increase the amount for post birth benefits, expand the coverage of the Delhi Ladli Scheme to include all girl children of Delhi irrespective of income of their parents or place of birth,  restore the benefits of the Delhi Ladli Scheme to all beneficiaries including the 52,700 cases identified by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) during 2010-11 to 2011-12 which were dropped from the Delhi Ladli Scheme due to non-renewal of their cases at different stages; remove renewal of the scheme at different stages and renegotiate the Memorandum of Understanding with the State Bank of India Life to fix the rate of interest from the inception of the Ladli Scheme.

ACHR also urged the Government of Delhi to establish the PC&PNDT Bureau of Investigation under the Department of Health and Family Welfare to assist the appropriate authorities for effective implementation of the PC&PNDT Act and launch a Mukhbir Yojana to reward those providing information with amount of rewards of at least Rs 200,000 to decoys and Mukhbirs along with specific incentive in the form of bond/scheme for the unborn baby of the decoy customer apart from undertaking of not aborting the foetus under any circumstances; specific allowance to the decoys and Mukhbirs to attend each hearing during the trials; ensure anonymity of the complainants, informers etc to the extent possible; and  sanction adequate financial resources for implementation of the Scheme.[End]