SC notice to Centre on plea against Surrogacy, ART Acts’ provisions

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on a PIL challenging the vires of Surrogacy Act, 2021 and the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act, 2021, for direct infringement on reproductive rights of women.

The petition was filed by Chennai resident, Arun Muthuvel, who was represented in the apex court by advocate Mohini Priya. Muthuvel is an IVF specialist and currently the Managing Director of Iswarya Fertility Services Private Ltd, which runs fertility centres in various parts of the country.

The plea contended that there is an unreasonable blanket ban on commercial surrogacy while allowing only altruistic surrogacy which may lead to further exploitation of women within the family, which is akin to forced labour.

After hearing detailed arguments, a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Justice C.T. Ravikumar sought response from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Women and Child Development, and the Indian Council for Medical Research.

The plea argued that there was discriminatory and restrictive classification of persons under the scheme of the Acts making it violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

It submitted that there has been direct infringement of reproductive rights of women which is integral to the right to privacy guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. It further argued that the Acts fall short in fully addressing the essential goal of regulating surrogacy and other assisted reproductive techniques.

The petitioner also sought a direction to recognise the rights of women other than married women above 35 years of age to avail surrogacy as a means of assisted reproductive technique to experience motherhood.

–IANS

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