The Act aims to deal with the social evil of female foeticide. It placed an absolute prohibition on sex determination tests. This is mainly due to the preference given to a male child in various sections of society. It also provided that prenatal testing techniques could only be used for specific purposes like identifying genetic abnormalities. The act makes the registration of diagnostic laboratories, all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics and ultrasound clinics mandatory. The suspended rules dealt with re-registration and reports of ultrasound and genetic labs, and clinics at the appropriate authorities.
The notification has raised concerns over the suspension of these rules. They fear that suspension might lead to illegal sex determination. All India Democratic Women’s Association claimed that the suspension goes against the purpose of the PC-PNDT Act. CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat also asserted that suspension of the rules would lead to rampant misuses by ultrasound clinics, imaging centres and genetic counselling centres, laboratories and clinics which are covered under essential services and will be operational during the lockdown. Karat has issued a letter to the Union Health Ministry in this regard.