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Embryos plea: Government officials to be made a party

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Oct 19, 2016, 2:05 am IST
Updated : Oct 19, 2016, 2:05 am IST

Hearing a petition filed by an American couple seeking to take back their embryos, kept in a hospital lab in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court has asked the petitioner to make the directors of central gov

Bhupendra Vira
 Bhupendra Vira

Hearing a petition filed by an American couple seeking to take back their embryos, kept in a hospital lab in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court has asked the petitioner to make the directors of central government’s import-export wings and central health director as respondents.

Arguing before the court on Tuesday, the couple's lawyer Ashutosh Kumbhakoni said, "If the government is not allowing the couple to take back their eight embryos to America, then what would the Indian government do with them "

He further said that the couple had legally brought the embryos to India and now they wish to take them back. Hence, this procedure does not fall under the description of export. The next hearing in the case is on Monday.

A division bench of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice M.S. Karnik was hearing the writ petition. According to the petition, following doctors' had advised the couple to go for surrogacy. American doctors had created the embryos with the help of the couple's sperms and eggs and had advised them to adopt a surrogate mother for the same.

Eight embryos were created and dispatched to India by a special courier. The couple had also taken a surrogacy visa and visited India and followed every procedure. The petition further stated that when the surrogacy process was about to begin, the Union government declared a ban on surrogacy.

The couple then corresponded with the Indian authorities and sought permission to take back their embryos to the US. However, the Indian government refused saying that while banning surrogacy it had also banned import and export of foetus.

The court had earlier asked the government to reply on petition. However, the government is yet to respond.