Centre opposes plea assailing provisions of surrogacy law

One-liner: The Centre has opposed a petition filed before Delhi HC assailing certain provisions of surrogacy law, saying the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021, and the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, were enacted following due procedure, with an intention to restrict the commercialisation of embryos and new-born children.

Affidavit: In an affidavit, the Centre has said the law was passed by Parliament after receiving comments from all stakeholders and the provisions challenged by the petitioners, which, if diluted, would defeat the very purpose of the law.

Provisions challenged: The petitioners -- Karan Balraj Mehta, an unmarried man, and Dr Pankhuri Chandra, a married woman and a mother of one -- have challenged several provisions of the surrogacy law, including the exclusion of a single man and a married woman having a child from the benefit of surrogacy.

Discriminatory: The petitioners have contended that they stand ousted from availing the benefit of surrogacy as a reproductive choice, which is discriminatory and in violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

No violation: The Centre, in its reply, said the Acts are not ultra vires Articles 14 and 21, and there is no violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners.

Bottom line: In their plea, the petitioners have stated that commercial surrogacy is the only option available to them, but the ban on commercial surrogacy robs them of the option.

Source: PTI