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Delhi High Court issues notice to Centre on plea by parents seeking frozen sperm of dead son from hospital

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The High Court of Delhi issued a notice on Wednesday to the Union government on a petition by an elderly couple, seeking release of frozen sperm of their deceased son from the In Vitro Fertilization lab (IVF lab) of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Yashwant Varma, while observing that the court’s decision will impact the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act 2021, which was a Central legislation, impleaded the Union of India through the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in the pending plea and issued notice to it.

The High Court fixed the matter for further hearing in January next year.

As per the petitioners, their son had passed away in September 2020 of cancer. When they approached Sir Ganga Ram hospital for disbursal of the frozen sperm sample, the hospital refused them outrightly, stating that it had no clear instructions from the state government.

As per the hospital, the sperm could only be released on the orders of court, as there were no guidelines for discharging the sample to legal heirs of the deceased.

Earlier, the High Court had issued notice to both the state government and the hospital. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital had responded that there were no Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) laws to release the frozen semen samples of unmarried male to parents or legal heirs.

The hospital further said that the ART Act, ICMR guidelines and the Surrogacy Act were also silent on the issue.

The petitioner parents were represented by Senior Advocate Suruchii Agarwal, along with Advocates Kuldeep Singh and Dhruv Srivastava.

(Case title: Gurvinder Singh & Anr vs GNCTD & Ors)

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