According to sources, Dr Munde is a surgeon and his wife a gynaecologist. The latter runs the diagnostic centre where sex determination tests are conducted in violation of the norms.
A case was registered against the couple under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques Act following the unnatural death of one Vijaymala Patekar at their clinic on May 18. Dr Munde was trying to abort the woman's six-month-old female foetus when she died, the sources said. Apparently, the 28-year-old victim did not wish to give birth to a fifth consecutive daughter.
The Health Ministry was jolted into action by the testimony of Advocate Shaila Jadhav before the local court in Beed that Dr Munde had showed her in 2010 how he got rid of aborted foetuses by feeding them to his pet dogs.
In 2010, the civil surgeon revoked the licence to conduct sonography tests on pregnant women and perform medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) at the hospital run by the couple. In 2011, they were again booked when 12 female foetuses were found in the garbage outside their hospital.
“In both cases, the couple managed to get bail from the sessions court. Despite all these cases and revoking their licence, they have been blatantly engaged in female foeticide,” rued Varsha Deshpande, an activist who has been campaigning against female foeticide.
The fact that Dr Munde is a relative of an influential MP probably explains why the couple has escaped prosecution so far.