MUMBAI: A couple on Tuesday moved the Bombay High Court seeking permission to complete a surrogacy procedure they had initiated in a city-based hospital before the new Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Act came into effect.
The plea was submitted before a vacation bench led by Justice N W Sambre seeking urgent hearing, and it will be heard on Wednesday. The petitioner's counsel, PV Dinesh, also sought that as interim relief, the couple be permitted to transfer their cryopreserved embryos from the said hospital to another fertility clinic.
The lawyer said that while the couple's fertilised embryo had been preserved by the hospital for transfer to a surrogate, the new Act came into effect in January this year. The new Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Act prohibits surrogacy unless it is purely altruistic.
And among other stringent provisions, it mandates that only a married relative with a child of her own can act as a surrogate. The respondent hospital therefore, put the couple's procedure on hold stating that they will need a court order to resume the procedure.
The hospital's counsel Anita Castellino told the bench that the provisions of the new Act were comprehensive and complex and that she needed time to file a comprehensive reply to the plea. However, the court said it will hear the matter on Wednesday before passing any orders.