Both Bills were passed by Voice Vote in the Lower House.
New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed two crucial social sector Bills — Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 and Surrogacy (Regulation), Bill 2019. While the first legislation provides a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders, the second one seeks to ban commercial surrogacy in the country. Both Bills were passed by Voice Vote in the Lower House.
Replying to a discussion on Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019, Minister of state for social justice Rattan Lal Kataria said it provides for establishing a national authority for safeguarding the rights of transgenders.
The Bill provides for penalty and punishment in cases of offences and sexual harassment against transgender persons.
The government has removed a contentious provision that criminalised begging by transgender people which was part of the bill when it was introduced by the previous government.
The Bill on Surrogacy provides for constitution of surrogacy boards at the national and state levels, and ensures that couples should not abandon such a child under any condition.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the ban commercial surrogacy was the need of the hour and that many countries have banned commercial surrogacy.
It is only legal in the state of California besides Russia and Ukraine.
“A rough estimates says there are about 2,000-3000 surrogacy clinics running illegally in the country and a few thousand foreign couples resort to surrogacy practise within India and the whole issue is thorougly unregulated,” he said.
The surrogacy Bill also provides for constitution of surrogacy boards at national and state levels, as well as that the intending couples should not abandon such a child under any condition.
Only Indian couples who have been legally married for at least five years would be allowed to opt for surrogacy, as per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill.