India

Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan faces 'baby sex test' inquiry

  • 17 June 2013
  • From the section India
Actor Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri Khan arrive for the inaugural Times of India Film Awards in Vancouver
Image caption Khan and his wife have said nothing about the reports

Health officials in India are investigating reports that top Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan knows he and his wife are expecting a baby boy.

Maharashtra state health minister Suresh Shetty said he had instructed his officials to conduct the inquiry.

An Indian medical association had written to the ministry, calling for the investigation.

Sex tests before birth are illegal in India. The couple have not commented on reports of the pregnancy or gender.

India's ban on sex tests is part of attempts to reduce female foeticide which distorts the country's gender balance because of the general cultural preference for boys, reports the BBC's Jill McGivering.

Mr Shetty confirmed his ministry had received an email from the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA).

He said he had asked his officials to submit a report, after which "appropriate action" would be taken if required.

A spokesman for the IRIA told the BBC: "We're demanding an inquiry, asking for the truth - we want to know who said what to whom."

Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri already have two children, a boy and a girl.

So far they have refused to confirm widespread media reports they are expecting a third child next month, using a surrogate mother - and that they know it is a boy.

Correspondents say it is possible the media reports are inaccurate - or indeed that the couple had an ultrasound test legally in another country.

But the IRIA spokesman told the BBC their concern is that India's tough rules on revealing gender must be seen to apply to everyone, rich or poor.

"These rules are applicable to one and all… there cannot be one rule for the rich and one for ordinary people."

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