The Central government, through Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, told the Supreme Court on Monday that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft were putting in place mechanisms that would block search queries regarding prenatal sex determination, including advertisements put out by individuals or entities.
During a hearing on Monday of a petition by Sabu Mathew George regarding the implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, Kumar said the three companies are "bound to develop a technique so that, the moment any advertisement or search is introduced into the system, that will not be projected or seen by adopting the method of 'auto block'."
He added: "If any person tries to avail the corridors of these companies, this device shall be adopted so that no one can enter or see the advertisement or message or anything that is prohibited under the PCPNDT Act, specifically under Section 22 of the Act."
Sanjay Parikh, the counsel for George, said there are still some agencies publishing advertisements for prenatal sex determination. To this, Kumar said he had just been informed "about the 'proposed list of words' in respect of which when commands are given, there will be 'auto block' with a warning and nothing would be reflected in the internet, as it is prohibited in India."
The counsel representing the three companies then said: "If anyone, taking recourse to any kind of ingenuity, feed certain words and something that is prohibited under the Act comes into existence, the 'principle of auto block' shall be immediately applied and it shall not be shown." However, they can block such queries or advertisements only if these were brought to their notice.
The court, however, asked for an "in-house mechanism" to be in place to block these queries.
Here is the full list of keywords or search terms Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (in case of its search engine Bing) have said they are looking to block:
- Gender selection
- Gender selection Kits
- Gender selection service
- Gender selection clinics
- Gender selection technique
- Prenatal sex selection
- Prenatal sex selection kits
- Prenatal sex selection service
- Prenatal sex selection clinics
- Prenatal sex selection technique
- Prenatal sex determination
- Prenatal sex determination kits
- Prenatal sex determination service
- Prenatal sex determination clinics
- prenatal sex determination technique
- Baby gender selection
- Baby gender selection kits
- Baby gender selection service
- Baby gender selection clinics
- Baby gender selection technique
- Prenatal diagnostic tests for selection of sex before or after conception
- Prenatal conception test
- Prenatal diagnostic
- Prenatal foetoscopy for sex selection
- Prenatal ultrasonography for sex selection
- Sex selection procedure
- Sex selection technique
- Sex selection test
- Sex selection administration
- Sex selection prescription
- Sex selection services
- Sex selection management
- Sex selection process
- Sex selection conduct
- Prenatal image scanning for sex selection
- Prenatal diagnostic procedure for sex selection
- Sex determination using scanner
- Sex determination using machines
- Sex determination using equipment
- Scientific sex determination and sex selection
- Gender test
- Early Gender Test