A judicial bench consisting of the Honorable chief justice of India Dipak Misra, justice A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud stayed the high court’s order of February 17, 2016, and said that the high court has mistakenly trenched upon an area of legislative policy.
“We direct in consequence that the judgment of this court in Voluntary Health Association of Punjab shall be strictly enforced by all states and union territories untrammeled by any order of any high court or any other court,” the bench said.
The supreme court also went on to say that the directions issued by this court in its decision In Voluntary Health Association of Punjab case should be considered as an integral part to the enforcement of a law which has been enacted by Parliament to curb a grave social evil of female foeticide.
“More specifically, in its judgment of November 8, 2016, this court has required the states and the Union territories to implement the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) (Six Months Training) Rules, 2014 forthwith. The decision explains that the provision for training required under the above subordinate legislation, is imperative to realize the objects and purposes of the Act,” the bench said.
“The wisdom of the legislature in adopting the policy cannot be substituted by the court in the exercise of the power of judicial review,” the bench said while disposing of all the interlocutory applications in the matter.
The decision has come because the Center, Indian Radiological and Imaging Association had managed to move the apex court thereby challenging the high court’s decision on the issue.
The Delhi high court had declared earlier that the Rule 3(3)(1)(b) framed under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 as beyond one’s legal power or authority. It had also done away with mandatory six-month training which was earlier required to be able to perform an ultrasound under the ambit of the law.
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