Law, Liberty and Life: A discursive analysis of PCPNDT Act

Tapan Ranjan Mohanty


The gender discrimination though is an universal and usual phenomenon practices across time and space with fewer exceptions, it takes a deep and pervasive from in India as it starts not just with birth of the girl child but even before that. To put it succinctly the practice of ‘sex selection’ and sex selective abortions India has not only adversely affected an already skewed child sex ratio but has disastrous consequences for the future. The tradition of ‘son-preference syndrome’ coupled with the modern medical technology that has enabled early detection of sex of the foetus has spelled doom for the defenceless female foetus. Surprisingly, this practice is more among the rich, urbane and educated families than the rural, poor and less educated couples. The centuries of psychological conditioning in the case of women, their vulnerability and helpless conjoined with prejudice towards girl child has turned the protectors into perpetrators of a heinous crime. It is in this context the Govt. of India enacted a specific legislation titled ‘Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Selection of Sex) Act-1994’, in short PCPNDT Act to curb this menace. However, the chasm between the law in theory and law in practice at least in this case seems a bit far due to various socio-economic and cultural factors. In this article an attempt has been made to systematically analyze the issue from the perspective of sociology of law.


Gender discrimination; Sex selection; PCPNDT ACT; Tradition; Modernity

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Revista REDES - ISSN 2318-8081

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