Section 17 in The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994

Title: Appropriate Authority and Advisory Committee

Description: (1) The Central Government shall appoint, by notification in the Official Gazette, one or more Appropriate Authorities for each of the Union territories for the purposes of this Act. (2) The State Government shall appoint, by notification in the Official Gazette, one or more Appropriate Authorities for the whole or part of the State for the purposes of this Act having regard to the intensity of the problem of pre-natal sex determination leading to female foeticide. (3) The officers appointed as Appropriate Authorities under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be,-- 1[(a) when appointed for the whole of the State or the Union territory, consisting of the following three members— (i) an officer of or above the rank of the Joint Director of Health and Family Welfare--Chairperson; (ii) an eminent woman representing women's organisation; and (iii) an officer of Law Department of the State or the Union territory concerned: Provided that it shall be the duty of the State or the Union territory concerned to constitute multi-member State or Union territory level Appropriate Authority within three months of the coming into force of the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act, 2002 (14 of 2003): Provided further that any vacancy occurring therein shall be filled within three months of the occurrence.] (b) when appointed for any part of the State or the Union territory, of such other rank as the State Government or the Central Government, as the case may be, may deem fit. (4) The Appropriate Authority shall have the following functions, namely:-- (a) to grant, suspend or cancel registration of a Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic; (b) to enforce standards prescribed for the Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory and Genetic Clinic; (c) to investigate complaints of breach of the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder and take immediate action; and (d) to seek and consider the advice of the Advisory Committee, constituted under sub-section (5), on application for registration and on complaints for suspension or cancellation of registration; 2[(e) to take appropriate legal action against the use of any sex selection technique by any person at any place, suo motu or brought to its notice and also to initiate independent investigations in such matter; (f) to create public awareness against the practice of sex selection or pre-natal determination of sex; (g) to supervise the implementation of the provisions of the Act and rules; (h) to recommend to the Board and State Boards modifications required in the rules in accordance with changes in technology or social conditions; (i) to take action on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee made after investigation of complaint for suspension or cancellation of registration.] (5) The Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, shall constitute an Advisory Committee for each Appropriate Authority to aid and advise the Appropriate Authority in the discharge of its functions, and shall appoint one of the members of the Advisory Committee to be its Chairman. (6) The Advisory Committee shall consist of— (a) three medical experts from amongst gynaecologists, obstericians, paediatricians and medical geneticists; (b) one legal expert; (c) one officer to represent the department dealing with information and publicity of the State Government or the Union territory, as the case may be; (d) three eminent social workers of whom not less than one shall be from amongst representatives of women's organisations. 3[(7) No person who has been associated with the use or promotion of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for determination of sex or sex selection shall be appointed as a member of the Advisory Committee.] (8) The Advisory Committee may meet as and when it thinks fit or on the request of the Appropriate Authority for consideration of any application for registration or any complaint for suspension or cancellation of registration and to give advice thereon: Provided that the period intervening between any two meetings shall not exceed the prescribed period. (9) The terms and conditions subject to which a person may be appointed to the Advisory Committee and the procedure to be followed by such Committee in the discharge of its functions shall be such as may be prescribed. 1 Subs. by Act 14 of 2003, s. 15, for clause (a) (w.e.f. 14-2-2003). 2 Ins. by Act 14 of 2003, s. 15 (w.e.f. 14-2-2003). 3 Subs. by s. 15, ibid., for sub-section (7) (w.e.f. 14-2-2003)

Title: Powers of Appropriate Authorities

Description: 1[17A. Powers of Appropriate Authorities.--The Appropriate Authority shall have the powers in respect of the following matters, namely:-- (a) summoning of any person who is in possession of any information relating to violation of the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder; (b) production of any document or material object relating to clause (a); (c) issuing search warrant for any place suspected to be indulging in sex selection techniques or pre-natal sex determination; and (d) any other matter which may be prescribed.] 1. Ins. by s. 16, ibid. (w.e.f. 14-2-2003).

Title: Registration of Genetic Counselling Centres, Genetic Laboratories or Genetic Clinics

Description: 1[(1) No person shall open any Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic, including clinic, laboratory or centre having ultrasound or imaging machine or scanner or any other technology capable of undertaking determination of sex of foetus and sex selection, or render services to any of them, after the commencement of the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act, 2002 (14 of 2003) unless such Centre, Laboratory or Clinic is duly registered under the Act.] (2) Every application for registration under sub-section (1), shall be made to the Appropriate Authority in such form and in such manner and shall be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed. (3) Every Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic engaged, either partly or exclusively, in counselling or conducting pre-natal diagnostic techniques for any of the purposes mentioned in section 4, immediately before the commencement of this Act, shall apply for registration within sixty days from the date of such commencement. (4) Subject to the provisions of section 6, every Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic engaged in counselling or conducting pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall cease to conduct any such counselling or technique on the expiry of six months from the date of commencement of this Act unless such Centre, Laboratory or Clinic has applied for registration and is so registered separately or jointly or till such application is disposed of, whichever is earlier. (5) No Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall be registered under this Act unless the Appropriate Authority is satisfied that such Centre, Laboratory or Clinic is in a position to provide such facilities, maintain such equipment and standards as may be prescribed. 1 Subs. by Act 14 of 2003, s. 17, for sub-section (1) (w.e.f. 14-2-2003).

Title: Certificate of registration

Description: (1) The Appropriate Authority shall, after holding an inquiry and after satisfying itself that the applicant has complied with all the requirements of this Act and the rules made thereunder and having regard to the advice of the Advisory Committee in this behalf, grant a certificate of registration in the prescribed form jointly or separately to the Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic, as the case may be. (2) If, after the inquiry and after giving an opportunity of being heard to the applicant and having regard to the advice of the Advisory Committee, the Appropriate Authority is satisfied that the applicant has not complied with the requirements of this Act or the rules, it shall, for reasons to be recorded in writing, reject the application for registration. (3) Every certificate of registration shall be renewed in such manner and after such period and on payment of such fees as may be prescribed. (4) The certificate of registration shall be displayed by the registered Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic in a conspicuous place at its place of business.

Title: Cancellation or suspension of registration

Description: (1) The Appropriate Authority may suo motu, or on complaint, issue a notice to the Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic to show cause why its registration should not be suspended or cancelled for the reasons mentioned in the notice. (2) If, after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic and having regard to the advice of the Advisory Committee, the Appropriate Authority is satisfied that there has been a breach of the provisions of this Act or the rules, it may, without prejudice to any criminal action that it may take against such Centre, Laboratory or Clinic, suspend its registration for such period as it may think fit or cancel its registration, as the case may be. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) and (2), if the Appropriate Authority is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do in the public interest, it may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, suspend the registration of any Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic without issuing any such notice referred to in sub-section (1).