July 31, 2021 8:25:18 pm
The Gujarat High Court while disposing a petition moved by a woman seeking preservation of sperm of her dying husband, noted in an order dated July 29 that since the same has now been done, there is “no legal impediment which would prevent” the woman to undergo the IVF procedure to bear a child through the sperm of her now deceased husband.
The 32-year old man, whose sperm the wife had wished to preserve, was in an unconscious state days before his death and was thus not in a state to give his “express consent” for preservation of his sperm, as is necessary. The man’s parents and his wife had then moved a petition before the Gujarat HC seeking the court’s urgent intervention. The court on July 20 had granted interim relief, directing the private hospital in Vadodara where he was admitted, to preserve his sperm. The same was done through ‘Testicular Sperm Extraction’ process the same day and was stored at a separate fertility centre in the city. The man breathed his last on July 22.
Following the interim relief, the court had to decide whether further course of action is to be undertaken or permitted.
The court of Justice Nikhil Kariel noted that while there is the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020 is for consideration before the Parliamentary Standing Committee, legally at the moment nothing stands in the way “which would be in the nature of restraining” the wife to undertake IVF/ART procedure for getting herself impregnated using sperm of her late husband, and thus nothing more remains to be done by the court at this stage.
“In view of the fact that there is no legal impediment which would prevent the…(wife)…to undergo the procedure as recorded hereinabove and more particularly, in view of the fact that parents of the late husband of the petitioner No.1 (wife) are also party petitioners to the present petition and who also were supporting the decision of the petitioner No.1 (wife), who wants a child through the sperm of her late husband, this Court is of the opinion that nothing further is required to be done at this stage by this Court. Suffice it to state that it would be open for the…(wife)…to utilise the sperms of her late husband which are as now kept at OASIS Fertility Center, Vadodara for undergoing IVF/ART procedure, as and when the…(wife)…so desires,” the court noted.
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