Centre for Enquiry Into Health And Allied Themes (CEHAT) & Others v. Union of India & Others


COURT: Supreme Court of India


REFERENCE: Writ Petition (civil) 301 of 2000


Petitioner: Centre for Enquiry Into Health And Allied Themes (CEHAT) & Others

Respondents: Union of India & Others


The CEHAT case is a 2003 landmark judgment that condemns the act of sex-determination at a pre-birth stage itself so as to annihilate female child infanticide. It is a significant judgment that centers around how the minor institution of law isn’t the arrangement, and the judgment features how usage and execution are similarly significant.

FACTS: In 1996, the govt. of India had passed the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1995 (the “PNDT Act”) which was aimed toward preventing the misuse of sex determination technology to abort girl children before birth.

Female feticide had become an increasingly frequent practice in India despite the implementations of reforms that attempted to make awareness on the difficulty and restrict this practice. Petitioner NGOs and experts brought suit, claiming that the Central Government

and therefore the State Governments had not been effectively implementing the provisions of the PNDT Act. Petitioners requested that the Court direct the Central and State Governments to actualize the PNDT Act by designating appropriate specialists, guaranteeing that the Central Supervisory Board meet at regular intervals and restricting all commercials for pre- natal sex determination procedures.


Article 32 of the Constitution: Remedies for enforcement of rights conferred by this Part

  • The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed
  • The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part
  • Without prejudice to the powers conferred on the Supreme Court by clause ( 1 ) and ( 2 ), Parliament may by law empower any other court to exercise within the local limits of its jurisdiction all or any of the powers exercisable by the Supreme Court under clause ( 2 )
  • The right guaranteed by this article shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution
Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 and


  1. The main petition raised by CEHAT was to get the abuse of the technology checked and additionally bring notice to the court where all the technology was practised in all the clinics all around the nation.
    1. The subsequent petition was recorded to bring into notice of the court that the said amendment was not appropriately known by individuals given that the past orders were additionally not compiled as well.

The population census of 2001 expressed that the sex proportion of the nation has been gravely affected in certain states when compared with others and the sole explanation behind this was the pre-natal determination method which the Parliament had prohibited before.

Centre for inquiry into health and allied themes which worked in the direction of improvement of individuals filed a petition in respect for the execution of such act. Supreme Court in its order dated 04.05.2001 expressed that tragically female infanticide still prevails in our nation. Consequently the SC gave directions for the following affect:

Directions to the Central Government
  • to make public aware regarding pre-natal diagnostic and female infanticide.
  • Advisory committee should converge regularly.
Orders for Central Supervisory Board (CSB)
  • Guarantee meetings are conducted once in 6 months.
  • make sure the reviewing and monitoring of the act’s implementation takes place
  • Report shall be furnished by the acceptable authorities.
Order to State authorities
  • Proper authorities at state and district level.
  • To institute consultative committee and correct campaigning in such effect.
  • To aware individuals about the bad effects of such mal practices.
Orders to the acceptable authority
  • to require action against any person who violates section 22 of the act.
  • To furnish report with reference of CSB.

The act was amended in 2003 keeping in mind the directions issued by the SC.

Contentions raised by the petitioner:
  1. The main contention raised by the Petitioner was that Pre-natal analysis was done at several centers regardless of the way that the said practice was made punishable by the court in prior orders.
  2. The subsequent dispute raised was that there was no legitimate instruction and awareness among people and the general population with respect to the new laws and orders.
  3. The Petitioner asked the court to investigate the issue and stop the equivalent mal practices.
Contentions raised by the respondents:
  1. Respondent contented that appropriate actions were undertaken with respect to the same.
  • District, state and central level advisory board was set up.
  • Proper campaigning and awareness to the people in general was made through electronic media.
Decision and Reasoning

The SC directed the Central Government and State Government to document their separate responses in respect of the rules that were laid. However, the court was not happy with the responses that were filed. Because of this the SC gave new directions in assistance of the order that was recently given.

The Court noticed a few areas of carelessness and repeated that its past orders must be consented to. The Court additionally gave certain directions with regards to different educational and appointment obligations of the Central Government, the Central Supervisory Board, and State Governments.

The present judgment directs the govt. to accommodates the Act in every manner and with immediate result. It emphasises on efforts that has to be taken by the govt. . to unfold awareness concerning the follow in conjunction with correct functioning of the system concerned. Quarterly reports and records of meetings were mandated to be created public. It additionally directed the continuation of the National observance and Implementation Committee, until the Act was properly enforced throughout the territory.


The judgment presents a rather harsh reality of the Indian Society. The court saw that different states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, in spite of doing great financially, were positioned among all time low under sex-ratio.

It is unfortunate that it took a proper judgement to safeguard somebody’s right so fundamental to society, which also portrays an abysmal condition of varied practices against females. The Court wasn’t ignorant in acknowledging the graveness of the practice and also the real picture it painted of the condition of female justice. It is, in any case, commendable that after the petition was closed, dynamic endeavors were taken by the govt to spread awareness about the training and to test the usage of the Act.