In a gruesome video shared with TNM, a patient is seen on a bloody operating table with her legs spread out, seemingly filmed as an abortion is performed. Yet another video shows a woman in a lab coat performing a surgery and stitching up a patient.
The videos were shared by R Sandeep Yadav, a Hyderabad-based businessman, who has accused a city nursing home of promoting female foeticide and approached the High Court to take legal action against the doctors involved.
Speaking to TNM, Sandeep says that he was first notified of the alleged crime taking place in Gayathri Nursing Home at Saidabad a few months ago.
“Many of the patients who visit the nursing home belong to the ST community and generally want a baby boy. The doctor at the nursing home urges the couple to do a sex determination test and a scan at a lab in the city’s Santosh Nagar area,” Sandeep alleges.
“If the result says that it is a girl and the couple already have a girl child, they are encouraged to go in for an abortion,” he adds.
Sandeep also alleges that the procedure is not conducted by a general surgeon or a gynaecologist but by an anaesthesiologist, a physician trained in anaesthesia.
“In exchange for performing the operation, the doctor continues to make loads of money illegally. I have found only one such case, but there must be at least 50 to 100 such clinics in Hyderabad alone,” Sandeep claims.
“What is the use of slogans like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ if we don’t implement it on the ground? There has to be a balance between both genders in society,” he says, adding that he is the father of two daughters himself, which is what moved him to act.
Last week, hearing a writ plea filed by Sandeep, a two-judge bench comprising the acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice K Vijaya Lakshmi, pulled up the Telangana government, the Medical Council of India, the Indian Medical Association, the Hyderabad Police Commissioner and the city’s District Collector.
The petitioner’s counsel, SR Sanku, had submitted all video evidences in court and argued that the nursing home’s activities were illegal under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994.
Based on the court’s order, the police have booked a case under the Medical sub-section 5 of the Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, including under sub-section (2) (Termination of pregnancy by a person who is not a registered medical practitioner).
When TNM contacted Gayathri Nursing Home about the allegations, an official said that they could not comment on the case as it was being heard in court. However, he claimed that the petitioner in the case would frequently visit the nursing home over the past year, claiming to be a government official with the police.
“The petitioner who has moved the court is a ‘habitual offender’ who blackmailed us and said that he would teach us a lesson. He has a personal grudge against us for some reason,” the official claimed.
“We have been running a small clinic from 2004 and we recently became a nursing home. There have been no complaints against us, you can even check the police records. We will cooperate with the law,” the official added.