#India-Illegal ads on #Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT


Corporate communication

Google, India

2 November 2012

Complaint—Regarding illegal ads on Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT

The Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act has banned the promotion or advertisement of services that allows one to choose the sex of one’s baby. Yet, Google is carrying advertisements of  the link of IVF that leads to websites that offer these services. Each time a person clicks on the ad, these companies makes money.

The Indian law against sex selection is comprehensive.   Section 22 defines advertisement and Section 26 states the penalties for violation by Companies.  They are given below:

Section 22:  Prohibition of advertisement relating to pre-natal determination of sex and punishment for contravention.

1.    No person, organization, Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic, including clinic, laboratory or centre having ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or any other technology capable of undertaking determination of sex of foetus or sex selection shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement, in any form, including Internet, regarding facilities of pre-natal determination of sex or sex selection before conception available at such centre, laboratory, clinic or at any other place.
2.    No person or organization including Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement in any manner regarding pre-natal determination or preconception selection of sex by any means whatsoever, scientific or otherwise.
3.    Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “advertisement” includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or any other document including advertisement through Internet or any other media in electronic or print form and also includes any visible representation made by means of any hoarding, wall-painting, signal, light, sound, smoke or gas.

26. Offences by companies.

(1) Where any offence, punishable under this Act has been committed  by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence punishable under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,– (a) “company” means anybody corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals, and

(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

The Indian Parliament enacted a special law because the medical community was not self-regulating these serious violations of medical ethics. The practice of sex selection is prohibited while foetal sex determination is regulated.

The PCPNDT Act applies to advertisements and content that advertises sex selection or foetal sex determination  methods/procedures/techniques.  Any form of advertising in India that promotes techniques, products or procedures of sex selection, sex determination is a violation of the law.

In 2008, theSupreme Court of India had served notices to you,  yet  violations of the law continue with impunity and  in response Google had issued a statement saying  “The Google advertising program is managed by a set of policies which we develop based on several factors, including legal requirements and user experience. In India, we do not allow ads for the promotion of prenatal gender determination or preconception sex selection. We take local laws extremely seriously and will review the petition carefully.”

But once again sex selection ads are mushrooming in your search engine in India  and the   continued violation in the Indian Internet space by  your company is  shocking.

Although the google policy when you click here http://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=176072


Product Allowed? Details
Dowry requests  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote dowry requests or the offering or sale of dowry. “Dowry” means any property or valuable security given by the bride to the groom for marriage.
Doctor, lawyer, or accountant services  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads for services offered by doctors, lawyers, or accountants.
Gender or sex selection  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote the pre-natal determination of the gender of a child, or pre-conception selection of sex.
Infant food, milk substitutes, feeding bottles  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote or encourage the use of infant food, milk substitutes, or feeding bottles.

When  you  search of gender selection or sex selection on your search engine  you  get a sponsored ad

and when you  click the link you get
and further page says
There are more sites on google search as well violating the law like genselect.com
wherein you can also order the gender selection kit online

I demand you immediately remove gender /sex selection ads from  google search engine in India

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, for Forum against Sex Selection (FASS) Mumbai


cc-  1) Director, PNDT Division, New Delhi

2) Cybercrime cell,  Mumbai


#India- Union govt okays free fertility treatment for Parsis

DNA / DNA Correspondent / Friday, October 19, 2012 7:30 IST
The Union government has approved a proposal by the minority affairs ministry to bear the cost of fertility treatment in
order to arrest the decline of Parsi population in the country. A similar proposal by the ministry had been shot down
by the planning commission in 2010 on the grounds that it would spur demands from other communities as well,
thereby disturbing the health ministry’s family welfare programme designed to control rising population.
In the 12th Plan budget, the Planning Commission has allowed the minority affairs ministry to spend Rs2 crore in in
the current fiscal to organise fertilitycamps in areas concentrated by the community in Mumbai, Gujarat and Kolkata.
The amount will also be utilised to create awareness on in-vitro fertilisation or IVF technique adoption to increase
fertility by engaging health volunteers.
Planning Commission member Sayeeda Sayeedain Hamid had in her report on “empowerment of minorities”
highlighted the need to help Parsis lest it becomes an endangered community in India. The ministry of minority
affairs will now present a detailed roadmap to execute the scheme.
The ministry, which conducted a survey before moving the proposal for the fertility clinics, noted that the average
number of births per year in the Parsi community has never crossed 200 since 2001 and as such their number is
further dwindling. It said that while India’s population had grown to 1 billion in 2001, the number of ParsiZoroastrians has fallen 39% from 1.14lakh in 1941 to 69,000 in 2001.
Against the general child-woman ratio of 578 per 1,000 in the country, amongst the Parsis, it is just 85 per 1,000. The
proposal said late marriages, reduced fertility levels and migration were the major reasons for the decline in the
Parsi population.
About 30%of the Parsi population remains single, while another 30%is above 60. And to make matters worse, the
death rate in the community is three times the birth rate.
Dwindling Numbers
The average number of births a year among Parsis has not crossed 200 since 2001
Against the country’s general child-woman ratio of 578 per 1,000, among Parsis, it is 85 per 1,000
About 30% of Parsis remain single while another 30% is above 60. Also, the death rate within the community is thrice the birth rate



Fake Kahaani to embrace motherhood! #Surrogacy

, TNN | Apr 26, 2012

AHMEDABAD: The artificial stomach Vidya Balan sported in the film ‘Kahaani‘ was the surprise element in the climax. In real life, the fake tummy is commonly used by women opting for surrogacy to have a child but want their families to believe they are the one’s carrying that bundle of joy!

Many women from traditional communities can’t tell their in-laws and extended families that they have employed a surrogate and instead walk around with strap-ons for nine months to simulate a pregnant stomach.

In an extreme case, a gynecologist couple chose to have an incision on the stomach of the wife with sutures so that it looked like a caesarean section. An artificial stomach would not have worked in their case as there were many doctors in the family who are more difficult to deceive.

Surrogacy expert from Anand Dr Naina Patel says an IIT-graduate couple from Chennai opted for an artificial stomach as the woman wanted to avoid the disapproval of her in-laws. “She did not have a uterus and her in-laws would never have accepted that the child was born through another’s woman’s womb,” says Patel.

Hema Inamdar, a soft toy maker, specializes in fake tummies. “A woman called from the UK saying she felt she was actually carrying a baby when she wore the tummy,” says Inamdar. One can get artificial stomachs in sets of three. The first set simulates three, five and seven months pregnancy. The other set simulates five, seven and nine months, with one set costing roughly Rs 1,000.

Fertility expert Dr Falguni Bavishi says NRI women too succumb to familial pressure. “A Gujarati woman in the US took artificial tummies with her after employing a surrogate, so that her in-laws would believe she was pregnant. She told them that she had to deliver the baby where the IVF treatment was done, got the baby from the surrogate and went back, her secret intact,” says Dr Bavishi.

In Mumbai, buy a baby boy in seven days for 2 lakhs

  Feb 20, 2012 –Mumbai: In an explosive sting operation that lasted for about a week, MiD DAY blows the lid off a thriving baby-selling racket in the city, in which infants are sold like commodities for Rs. 2-3

Two MiD DAY reporters posed as a couple and approached the syndicate operating out of the innocuous, even respectable, setting of an orphanage for disabled kids in the far suburb of Ulhasnagar. At the end of the seven days, a six-day-old male child was sold to the undercover scribes for Rs. 2.30 lakh, with zero paperwork and no waiting time.

A resort for innumerable childless couples in this city desperate to enjoy the joys of parenthood without the hassle of the long-winded legal adoption process, the orphanage offers many options for the illegal transaction.

The easiest of these is pay the cash and take the child home within a week, bypassing the interminable waits (anywhere over 2 years) and the extensive documentation required to establish your credentials and financial status. All one needs do is produce an identity proof — authenticity no bar — and the alleged racketeers hand over the child along with the birth certificate with your name on it.

The babies are procured from marginalised couples, who perforce or willingly, sell their offspring for a few thousand rupees: the promise of square meals or some extra money is enough to induce the poor women into being exploited and making reproduction their trade. While they get a minimum amount, the few employees abetting the illicit trade pocket a major share of the rewards.

The kingpin of the racket has been supplying newborns to builders, businessmen and other affluent people across the state, deprived of natural parenthood.

Other than the straightforward purchase, the alleged offenders offer the alternative of surrogacy at the price of Rs. 10 lakh. The surrogacy option included choosing to establish sexual contact with
a woman who would then bear the child in her womb, rather than the more traditional IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). For this, the rate card is contingent on the financial standing of the customer, and the demands of the surrogate mother. She may ask that her accommodation and medical expenses be borne till the time she delivers, other than her fee of a couple of lakhs.

After confirming the presence of the syndicate, we decided to ‘buy’ a child to establish the existence of this child trafficking.

The following is an in-depth account of the sting — as narrated by MiD DAY reporters Bhupen Patel and Shubha Shetty-Saha — starting from February 13, when they found out where the racket is taking place, and concluding seven days later with the sale of a baby.

Read more here

The Regulation of Surrogacy in India

Questions and Concerns: SAMA– a resource group for women and health.

As the clamor dies down, of news reports celebrating the ‘miracle of science’ that made the arrival of Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao’s baby boy possible, it would serve to look more closely at commercial surrogacy in India. Estimated to be a multi-million dollar industry, Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs, through which surrogacies are conducted) are a recent and fast-growing addition to India’s medical market and medical tourism sector. Their unregulated proliferation over the last few years has raised serious issues of safety, ethical practice, costs, and rights. While the proposed Draft Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill & Rules-2010 is a long-awaited step towards regulation, several clauses, especially concerning commercial surrogacy, leave much to be desired.

The 2010 Draft stipulates that payment to the surrogate is to be made in five installments, with the majority, i.e. 75 %, to be made as the fifth and final installment, following the delivery of the child. In the 2008 draft, payment was divided into three installments, with 75% of the payment to be made in the first installment itself. This not only shows a clear priority accorded to the intended parents, but also betrays that the worth of the surrogate’s labour, pregnancy, related emotional and physical risks etc are considered reducible to and meaningless without a tangible reproductive ‘output’, the baby. The revision, therefore, is highly imbalanced, exploitative and unfavourable to the surrogate.

According to the Bill, only gestational surrogacy, i.e. through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Embryo Transfer (ET), will be permitted, and genetic surrogacy, i.e. through Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) will not. By ruling out genetic surrogacy, the bill seeks to foreclose the possibility of any contesting claims over the baby by the surrogate mother, thus preserving the contract. Yet, genetic surrogacy through IUI where possible remains a less commercial and less invasive option, and avoids the excessive use of IVF for obtaining donor eggs.

The present Draft has also increased the number of permitted successful live births for a surrogate from three (in the previous Draft) to five; this is inclusive of the surrogate’s own children. This provision inadequately addresses an aspect critical to the surrogate’s health: the number of permitted cycles she can undergo. Since the number of live births is not equivalent to the number of ART cycles, as the success rates of the procedure are low, to effectively ensure that the surrogate’s health is not exploited, the maximum number of ART cycles she can undergo must also be specified.

The draft also mentions that the maximum number of embryo transfers per couple that a surrogate can undergo is three. But the maximum number of couples this is applicable to is not circumscribed. Once again, given the low success rates of ARTs, all embryos transfers, like cycles, may not result in successful births. Thus, a surrogate may go through many cycles and embryo transfers for many couples before achieving the acceptable limit of five successful live births; this will adversely impact her health. Hence, this provision makes only a superficial attempt at regulation, with enough scope for misuse and exploitation.

Many serious health risks (procedural and drug-related, for both the woman and the child) need to be acknowledged and mentioned in the consent form. The consent form should also mention, where relevant, that long-term effects of drugs and procedures in ARTs are under-researched.

The Bill mentions that the commissioning parent(s) shall ensure that the surrogate mother and the child she delivers are ‘appropriately’ insured; while this is indeed necessary, more elaboration is required on the nature and extent of insurance that will be provided, particularly with regard to post-delivery follow-up and care, failing which the commissioning parent(s) and the overseeing clinic should be held legally responsible.

The draft Bill states that ARTs will be available to all single persons, married couples and unmarried couples. However, couple is defined as two persons ‘having a sexual relationship that is legal in India’. In addition, the bill defines both married and unmarried couple, as being in a marriage or relationship respectively that is legal in the country of which they are citizens. As such, it is not clear how these three definitions will be read together, and if ARTs will be available for gay couples, particularly Indian gay couples. This needs to be clarified and ascertained from a rights perspective, without any discrimination, since homosexuality has been decriminalized (but not legalized) in India.

The Bill mandates the appointment of a local guardian in case of surrogacy arrangements where the intended couple is staying outside India. This local guardian will be legally obliged to take delivery of the child born of the surrogacy arrangement if the intended couple does not do so. It appears that the local guardian may hand over such a child to an adoption agency, or bring him/her up. This is a significant responsibility, and as such the role of the local guardian needs to be clearly demarcated and overseen to prevent abuse.

In lieu of the recent and controversial cases (Baby Manji, Dan Goldberg, etc) of international surrogacy that have resulted in legal battles for citizenship status for the child/ren, the Bill has made provisions to address this issue. Now, the draft ART Bill 2010 mandates that any foreign couple accessing surrogacy in India must produce a certificate from their country declaring that it permits surrogacy, and will recognize the child/ren born out of surrogacy as its legal citizen/s. This is a welcome move. Nonetheless, many issues remain to be addressed; for instance, stem cell research that uses ‘spare’ IVF embryos raises ethical concerns such as, obtaining informed consent from users. It can be concluded that engagement with policy to regulate the ART industry has been a case of some steps forward and some steps back; yet, the need to engage remains.

For a full critique of the Bill please write to sama.womenshealth@gmail.com


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