Despite India's declining child sex ratio, as many as 30 states and union territories have not convicted even a single person for pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic between 2011 and 2013, raising concerns about the poor implementation of the PCPNDT Act.
The five states which have worst child sex ratio (CSR) - Daman and Diu (618 girls per 1,000 boys), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (775), Chandigarh (818), Delhi (866) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (878) - have also not punished anyone during the period.
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 was enacted to stop female foeticide and arrest the declining sex ratio by banning pre-natal sex determination.
Child sex ratio in India has reached an alarming low with 918 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011 from 927 in 2001, but not much seems to have been done to ensure strict implementation of the Act to deter female foeticide.
According to data available with the Health Ministry, only 32 people have been punished in the whole country as against 563 cases reported for conducting sex determination tests between 2011 and 2013.
The data shows that only four states convicted 13 people in 2013. In 2012, eight persons were punished by three states and in 2011, 11 people by four states.
Punjab, which has one of the lowest CSR with 895 girls to 1,000 boys, has convicted only two persons in the period while it reported 52 such cases.
Haryana with 879 CSR registered 54 cases under the Act but no conviction took place. Similarly, Delhi registered 10 cases but could not manage to punish anyone.
The phenomenon has spread to areas which were not known for disparity in CSR including tribal areas and eastern states, said a Women and Child Development Ministry official.
The trend was particularly acute in more developed areas of the country including metropolitan cities.
Non-implementation of the Act has been the biggest failing of the campaign against sex selection, the official said.