By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI:Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has sought interventions of the National Human Rights Commission against serious irregularities in the implementation of the Ladli scheme launched by the State Government of Haryana in 2005 for retention of the girl child. Releasing its report, “The State of Female Foeticide in Haryana”, ACHR stated that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Accountant General of Haryana found irregularities of Rs 19.4 crores in the implementation of the Laldi scheme in four districts, namely, Jind, Karnal, Hisar and Rewari alone.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its “Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Social, General and Economic Sectors (Non-Public Sector Undertakings) for the year ended 31st March 2014 of Government of Haryana” stated that “Rs 10.95 crore were paid to 5,153 beneficiaries under Ladli Social Security Allowance Scheme without proper verification” in three districts of Haryana i.e. Jind, Karnal and Hisar.
The Audit Officer of the Principal Accountant General, Haryana also found an irregularity in the expenditure of Rs 809.90 lakhs which was said to have been deposited in the name of beneficiaries during 2009-10 to 2012-13 but there was no record maintained in the office of DPO, ICDS Rewari district to determine as to whether both of the girl children (beneficiaries) are alive.
“The irregularities obviously go beyond Jind, Karnal, Hisar and Rewari and this ought to be investigated”- stated Asian Centre for Human Rights.ACHR stated that the Ladli scheme discriminates against the first girl child and penalizes the surviving girl child in case of death of one of the two girls. Under the Rule 2(a) of the Ladli Scheme Rules, 2005, the first girl child is not given benefits until a second girl child is born in the family. Further, under Rule 10(d), in case of death of either of the girls, the benefits under the Ladli scheme are stopped with immediate effect.
Based on these discriminatory provisions, the CAG directed the District Programme officers of Jind, Karnal and Hisar to claim refunds in 538 death cases of girls from the Life Insurance Corporation while similar directions were issued by the Principal Accountant General of Haryana for withdrawal of the benefits from13 girls in Rewari district.
“The withdrawal of the benefits constitutes violations of the Article 14 of the Constitution of India and defeats the aims and objectives of the scheme as each and every girl counts.” – stated Asian Centre for Human Rights.
The implementation of the Preconception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act of 1994 remains extremely poor despite rampant violations. During 2009 to 2014, only 54 convictions under the PCPNDT Act were secured in Haryana while only 10 doctors were removed from the Register of State Medical Council of Haryana for five years despite suspension/cancellation of 517 registrations and sealing of 330 ultrasound centres/clinics as on date.
ACHR requested the NHRC to direct the State Government of Haryana to conduct the survey and provide benefits to the single girl child born in the family since the Ladli scheme came into force; conduct a survey and restore the benefits withdrawn/forfeited from the surviving beneficiary girl because of the unfortunate demise of either of the girl child including at least 538 beneficiaries as identified by the CAG in three districts namely Karnal, Hisar and Jind and 13 girl child in Rewari as identified by the Accountant General of Haryana; update the entire list of beneficiaries under the Ladli scheme with the date of birth and other details and to digitalise the list of beneficiaries and related information, funds sanctioned and utilization certificates and upload the same in the website of the District concerned.