THE Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, directed the Radiological & Imaging Association; to move the concerned authorities with regards to ensuring that the ‘Form F’ required to be filled by all the radiologist should be done through the government website and not through a private website.
The association had filed a review petition before the high court stating that the state government is using private websites to upload the forms and not the government one. The petition also stated that only in Thane the form is filled online on the government website and that should be made mandatory across the state.
Division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice R P Sondurbaldota also rejected the claim made by the association that due to the installation of the Silent Observer device, by the radiologist, images of even non pregnant women are being captured and is available to be viewed by the Collector. It also contended that the company officials who are allowed to transfer the data from the silent observer to the pen drive can also view this. Thus the right to privacy is disturbed and the client doctor contract is breached.
The bench though noted that “As per our previous order upholding the usage of silent Observer, we have dealt with the issue of privacy. As per that the data is only available to authorised persons and not for public viewing. It is not a book lying on the collectors table that any public can see it,” the bench said.
Further the court also refused to grant any relief in the form of creating any filters in the Silent Observer, to only store, the images of pregnant women. The bench said “If the filter is allowed then the power to use the filter will be with the radiologist and they may use it on pregnant women, thus defeating the entire purpose of the device which is installed to curb female foeticide.”
In August the court had upheld the use of the device ‘Silent Observer’, and also allowed the usage of modern technology instead of manual submission of Form ‘F’ by Radiologist to the authorities, with a view to ensure that the offenders are tracked at the earliest.
If forms were allowed to fill manually they had to be submitted by the fifth of every month. However, if it has to be done online it has to be within 24-hours. The bench had then noted “If the number of `F’ forms giving particulars about sonography test conducted on pregnant women in Kolhapur district alone runs into almost 1,50,000 `F’ forms per year or 15,000 forms per month, and if they are not submitted on-line, it will be impossible for any appropriate authority to make any meaningful scrutiny and analysis.”
Kolhapur district collector had in May 2010, made it mandatory for radiologist in the district, to install the device Silent Observer, and fill in forms online. The decision was challenged by the Radiological & Imaging Association, which was dismissed by the court.