Saturday March 23, 2019

Govt limits surrogacy to ‘infertile married Indian couples’

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New Delhi: The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that it was opposed to “commercial surrogacy” and was in the process of enacting a law to make it a punishable offence.

“The government does not support the commercial surrogacy and it would be limited to Indian married infertile couples only and not to foreigners,” the union government said in an affidavit on Wednesday.

The Centre told the court that only altruistic surrogacy to the needy infertile married Indian couple would be provided after their needs were assessed and found to be genuine.

The affidavit was filed after an apex court bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N V Ramana earlier in the morning adjourned the hearing after taking exception to the government position being reported by the media even before the court heard of it.

The court directed the matter to be listed on November 24.

The court was also told that the government was in the process of bringing a comprehensive legal framework for not only protecting the rights of the surrogate mother but also for prohibiting and penalising commercial surrogacy.

The Centre said an appropriate state authority would be set up under the proposed Assisted Reproductive Techniques (Regulation) Bill, 2014, to ascertain the genuineness of the need of infertile married Indian couples to have children.

This was stated by Dr Soumya Swaminathan, secretary, department of health research, ministry of health and family welfare, in response to a number of questions raised by the court in its October 14 order.

The questions pertained to the government stand on commercial surrogacy, status of the surrogate mother, pain and sufferings of the surrogate mother for nine months, risk and psychological and emotional problems, and the mother of the surrogate child.

Responding to a question posed by the apex court, the central government said the “import of the human embryo is prohibited except for research purposes based on the guidelines of the department of health research”.

The Centre’s affidavit also said that provision would be incorporated in law to penalise the commissioning couples who failed to take the custody of a child with disabilities born from a surrogate mother.

(IANS)

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Supreme Court Signals Out Automobiles Cause Much More Pollution Than Burning Firecrackers

Making it clear that it does not want to generate "unemployment", the court said those who would lose their livelihood can't be compensated in terms of alternate jobs, financial or other support if the firecracker industry was shut down.

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air pollution
Linking the plea for a ban on the manufacture, sale and bursting of firecrackers across the country with Article 19 (1)(g) guaranteeing the right to occupation, trade or business, a bench headed by Justice S.A. Bobde flagged the issue of loss of jobs if there was a clampdown on the firecracker manufacturing industry. Pixabay

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked why firecrackers were being singled out for rising pollution levels when automobiles caused much more pollution. It asked the Centre to apprise it with a comparative study of the two.

Linking the plea for a ban on the manufacture, sale and bursting of firecrackers across the country with Article 19 (1)(g) guaranteeing the right to occupation, trade or business, a bench headed by Justice S.A. Bobde flagged the issue of loss of jobs if there was a clampdown on the firecracker manufacturing industry.

Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution guarantees the right “to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business”.

crackers
Observing how there can be a ban on the firecracker industry whose operations were legal and licensed, Justice Bobde said the way out was not cancelling the license but there could be a change in the licensing conditions.
Pixabay

Sitting along with Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Justice Bobde said the issue had not been examined on the touchstone of Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution.

Making it clear that it does not want to generate “unemployment”, the court said those who would lose their livelihood can’t be compensated in terms of alternate jobs, financial or other support if the firecracker industry was shut down.

Observing how there can be a ban on the firecracker industry whose operations were legal and licensed, Justice Bobde said the way out was not cancelling the license but there could be a change in the licensing conditions.

crackers
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked why firecrackers were being singled out for rising pollution levels when automobiles caused much more pollution. Pixabay

The top court’s observations came in the course of hearing a PIL by a toddler — Arjun Gopal — seeking ban on the manufacture, sale and bursting of firecrackers across the country.

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Noting the work being done by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to produce green firecrackers, the top court had in its last order asked NEERI and PESO to stick the timeline culminating in the bulk production of firecrackers based on the new formulations by May 10, 2019.

The top court had in October 2018 permitted the use of only green firecrackers with reduced emission and decibel levels during all religious festivals. (IANS)