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Tamil YouTuber tests sex of his unborn child in Dubai and reveals it in India. Is it illegal in India and UAE?

A prominent YouTuber has found himself in legal hot water in India after disclosing the gender of his soon-to-be-born child in videos shared on his YouTube channel. What are the regulations concerning gender determination in both India and Dubai?

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Published on: May 22, 2024 23:48 IST
Image Source : PIXABAY Representational Image

A well-known YouTuber has landed in legal trouble in India after he revealed the sex of his unborn child in videos posted on his YouTube channel. According to reports, YouTuber and food vlogger, Irfan went to Dubai and took the test for his wife which revealed the sex of the unborn child.

What happened?

Posting a video of his pregnant wife undergoing the prenatal sex determination test at a hospital in Dubai, on his channel "Irfan's View," he said that it was legal in several countries, including, Dubai to conduct this test, but not in India, where it was banned. "When I was born in 1993, my mother knew my gender. It was not a big issue then. It was stopped because many mad people were discriminating against female gender," he said in the video.

This triggered a major uproar in India, resulting in the YouTuber landing in legal trouble. The Tamil Nadu Health Department on Tuesday issued a notice to YouTubers for violating the PCPNDT Act, 1994.  The department has asked Irfan to remove the videos about the prenatal sex determination test and subsequent disclosure.

Although he deleted the video from the video streaming platform, this triggered a debate in India about the rules which bar pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the determination of the sex of the foetus.

What is the PCPNDT Act?

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to stop female foeticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in India. The act banned prenatal sex determination. According to the National Health Mission, the main purpose of enacting the act is to ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevent the misuse of a prenatal diagnostic technique for sex-selective abortion.

Main provisions of the act are:-

1. The Act provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception.

2. It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound machines by allowing them their use only to detect- genetic abnormalities, metabolic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities, certain congenital malformations, haemoglobinopathies, and sex-linked disorders.

3. No laboratory or centre or clinic will conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus.

4. No person, including the one who is conducting the procedure as per the law, will communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.

5. Any person who puts an advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities in the form of a notice, circular, label, wrapper or any document, or advertises through interior or other media in electronic or print form or engages in any visible representation made by means of hoarding, wall painting, signal, light, sound, can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.

Salient features

Offences under this act include conducting or helping in the conduct of prenatal diagnostic techniques in the unregistered units, sex selection on a man or woman, conducting PNDT test for any purpose other than the one mentioned in the act, sale, distribution, supply, renting etc. of any ultrasound machine or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of the foetus.

Sex-determination test in Dubai: Is it legal?

Sex determination is legal in Dubai and most other foreign countries. In 2010, for the first time, UAE allowed pregnant women to determine the sex of their unborn baby. As it is legal in UAE, rich couples from India and China abuse this law to determine the sex of their unborn child.  In other countries, such as the UK, gender selection is only permitted for medical reasons. 

Will the Tamil YouTuber face any action in India?

The Tamil Nadu Health Department, in a statement released on Tuesday, categorically mentioned the PCPNDT Act and said "ascertaining" and "announcing" the gender of a child in India is prohibited. Although Irfan's wife had not taken the test in India, the social media influencer had announced it publically at a party. 

Hence, a memo has been issued to Irfan for violating the provisions of the said Act. Also, a letter was sent to the Cyber Crime Division asking them to immediately remove the video uploaded by Irfan from social media, it said. 

Also Read: Tamil YouTuber Irfan reveals sex of his unborn child, Health Department raps move, issues notice


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