HC seeks Centre's stand on plea to release deceased unmarried male's frozen sperm to parents

NewsDrum Desk
23 Nov 2022

New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the stand of the Centre on a petition by a couple seeking directions for the release of frozen sperm of their deceased unmarried son from a centre at the Ganga Ram Hospital here for surrogacy.

The petitioners' son, after being diagnosed with cancer, had frozen his semen sample in 2020 before the start of chemotherapy.

Justice Yashwant Varma made the central government a party to the case and issued notice to it, saying that he would “like to have their views” on the matter as it would have a “repercussion” on the Centre's law on the subject.

“Bearing in mind the questions that stand raised in the writ petition and the impact that they may have on the provisions contained in the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act 2021, the court is of the considered opinion that the appropriate ministry of the union may also be impleaded as a party so that their views are also elicited,” said the court.

The counsel appearing for the petitioners said that the Surrogacy Act and Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act (ART) as well as their regulations were not in place at the time of the death of the petitioners' son.

Even now the two Acts do not categorically deal with such a situation, so the petitioners can apply to take possession of the frozen gamete, she contended.T Once the gamete is handed over to the petitioners, they would act only in compliance with the applicable surrogacy law, the counsel said.

“We are entitled (under the law). All we are seeking is that it be taken from Ganga Ram and the possession be handed over to the parents, to be transferred to any reproductive clinic for surrogacy under the Surrogacy Act and rules. We will comply with everything,” the lawyer said.

The petitioners have said that being the only surviving heirs of their son who died at the age of 30 years in September 2020, they have the foremost right over his bodily remains.

The purpose of obtaining the sperm of the deceased from the IVF lab of the Ganga Ram Hospital is to continue the legacy of their deceased son, they have stated.

Earlier this year, the hospital had told the court that there is no law in the country to release the frozen semen sample of an unmarried male to his parents or legal heirs.

In an affidavit filed before the court, the hospital had said that the central government's gazette in the ART regulation does not specify the procedure of disposal or utilisation of the semen sample of an unmarried person.

The matter would be heard next on January 19. PTI ADS RT RT

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