Monday February 26, 2018

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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SC seeks ideas to enforce anti-sexual harassment law at workplace

The court had issued a notice to all the states in the last hearing of the matter on January 4

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The IIF has sought to put in place the guidelines for the implementation of the law at all levels. Wikimedia Commons
The IIF has sought to put in place the guidelines for the implementation of the law at all levels. Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the NGO Initiative for Inclusion Foundation (IIF) to give suggestions for effective implementation of a law to curb sexual harassment of women at workplaces, particularly in the private sector.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud sought the suggestions after the Central government in its affidavit claimed that it has taken steps to enforce the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

Appearing for the IIF, senior counsel Sanjay Parikh said there was no implementation of the law in private companies.

Also Read: One out of Two Children face Child Sexual Abuse: The Growing Problem of Child Sexual Abuse in India

He said a meeting was held with Assocham four years ago but nothing happened after that.

The IIF has sought to put in place the guidelines for the implementation of the law at all levels.

The court had issued a notice to all the states in the last hearing of the matter on January 4. The notice was returnable in four weeks. IANS

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