11:45 am - Thursday November 5, 2015

Supreme Court urges state govts to give incentives to family with girl child

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Emphasising upon a need to assure people that the State would take care of the girl child, the Supreme Court on Tuesday urged the state governments to give incentives to every family with a girl child so as to battle the menace of female foeticide and help improving the sex ratio in the country.

“We would require the states to give suggestions by way of a separate affidavit if some incentives can be given to the family which shows respect and honour for the girl child and give birth to girl child so that the sex ratio is improved,” said a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit.

The bench said that it would certainly help the states encourage people to bring up a girl child if they lent a hand to families in raising them up and accord assurance to them. “People must know that the State will take care of girl child. People should be informed about the benefits individually,” it said.

The court asserted that a female child had as much right to live as a male child and that state governments must make all endeavour to spread awareness among the families, apart from pursuing criminal prosecution under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, in cases of female foeticide.

“We recapitulate the saying: Awake, arise, Oh! Parth..and we say this to the states so that they can really wake up to take the issue of female foeticide with all the seriousness and sincere concerns,” said the bench.

Also expressing its “serious doubts” over the statistics provided by the states and union territories regarding the sex ratio, the court said that it would want all the date to be verified independently to assess the contentions being made by the governments before it.

It underlined that although the statistics adduced by various states presented a grim picture of the number of female children, the court would want them to be verified as the purpose was “to find out whether there is degradation of the sex ratio or a stagnation or any steps have really been taken by the concerned states to improve the sex ratio or not.”

The bench grouped the replies of states in different batches and began the exercise of verification with Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. It ordered a meeting to be held by the Central government’s National Inspection and Monitoring Committee on December 3. The meeting would be attended by the government officials who had filed the affidavits in the court and they would also produce for verification the records that formed the basis of adducing the statistics. The matter would be taken up by the court on December 4.

 

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