In the matter of Ranjana Pagar-Gawande v. Nivrutti Kashinath Deshmukh a group of petitions concerning a challenge to a common order that an additional sessions judge had issued and that had been annulled and set aside by a magistrate A complaint was made under Section 28(1) of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 alleging that the respondent promoted the practise of having a male child and was thereby guilty of offences punishable under Sections 22(1)(2)(3) and 23(1) of the PCPNDT Act. The complaint also pleaded for the complaint to be reinstated.
The petition’s respondent was a Kirtankar (public speaker) who was purportedly influential among residents of rural and semi-urban areas. On 04-01-2020, the respondent allegedly spoke to the group about methods for “how to conceive a male child” using quotes from books on religion and Ayurveda, and the speech was recorded and posted to YouTube the same day. According to reports, he said in his address that if a husband and wife start consummation on even dates, the wife will conceive a boy, and on odd dates, she will conceive a girl. It further stated that a kid born by physical contact during an unlucky moment will damage the family’s reputation. It’s interesting to note that he said, “Even after six months, if a foetus in the womb twists on the right side, it becomes a male child, and if it turns on the left side, it becomes a female child.
whether the aforementioned statement violated the PCPNDT Act and promoted sex discrimination or advertised any diagnostic method
Conclusion of the court
The Bombay High Court’s one-judge bench The statement in the religious speech was deemed to be advertising under the PCPNDT Act, and Justice Kishore C.sant ordered the Trial Court to continue the trial.
The Court acknowledged that no recent or well-established method was used in the current case. However, the respondent defended his actions by claiming that all he said was covered in books on Ayurveda and religion. The Court commended the Magistrate and remarked that there was evidence to support a preliminary indictment of the respondent and that the Sessions Judge’s conclusions were completely irrational. The Court noted that the respondent had spread the idea of choosing sex before conception. According to the Court, engaging in religious discourse would constitute advertising. Writing a book for academic study, the Court continued, cannot be equated with the crimes charged in this case. Knowledge must constantly be preserved and passed on in a certain way to those who are eager to learn it.
The Sessions Judge’s argument that a clinical diagnostic centre was being used for advertising was rejected by the court. It referred to the current instance where the respondent not only marketed but also asserted that the material was accurate, supported by science, and protected by the law. The Court agreed with the Trial Court’s assessment and determined that the current case unavoidably necessitated a trial. The petition was denied by the court for lack of locus standi, while the other petitions were approved and the Trial Court’s order was reinstated. The Court further ordered the Trial Court to conduct the trial without allowing its findings in the current matter to influence it. On the respondent’s request, the Court did, however, grant a four-week stay of the immediate