Surrogacy is a well-known method of reproduction whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant for the purpose of gestating and giving birth to a child she will not raise but hand over to a contracted party.
CASE BRIEF: Baby Manji Yamada V/S Union of India & Anr
Case name: Baby Manji Yamada V/S Union of India & Anr
Court: Supreme Court of India
Citation: WRIT PETITION (C) NO. 369 OF 2008
Bench: ARIJIT PASAYAT,J.
Decided on: September 29, 2008
Relevant Act/Sections: Sec.13 of Commissions For Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, Constitution of India
Ø BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
1. Emiko Yamada, claiming to be grandmother of the child, has filed this petition. The Writ Petition before the Rajasthan High Court was filed by M/s. SATYA, stated to be an NG0, the opposite party No. 3 in this petition.
2. The D.B. Habeas Corpus Writ Petition No. 7829 of 2008 was filed by M/s. SATYA wherein the Union of India through Ministry of Home Affairs, State of Rajasthan through the Principal Secretary, The Director General of Police, Government of Rajasthan and the Superintendent of Police Jaipur City (East), Jaipur were made the parties.
3. The biological parents Dr. Yuki Yamada and Dr. Ikufumi Yamada came to India in 2007 and had chosen a surrogate mother in Anand, Gujarat and a surrogacy agreement was entered into between the biological father and biological mother on one side and the surrogate mother on the other side. It appears from some of the statements made that there were matrimonial discords between the biological parents.
4. The child was born on 25th July, 2008. On 3rd August, 2008 the child was moved to Arya Hospital in Jaipur following a law and order situation in Gujarat and she was being provided with much needed care including being breastfed by a woman. It is stated by the petitioner that the genetic father Dr. Ifukumi Yamada had to return to Japan due to expiration of his visa. It is also stated that the Municipality at Anand has issued a Birth Certificate indicating the name of the genetic father.
Ø ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT:
1. Enforcement of stringent laws relating to surrogacy?
2. Whether action is to be taken by the court or by the commission ?
3. Locus standi of respondent no.3 to file Habeas Corpus ?
Ø RATIO OF THE COURT:
1. It is stated that though the petition before the High Court was styled as a "Public Interest Litigation" there was no element of public interest involved.
2. The learned Solicitor General has taken exception to certain statements made in the said counter affidavit and has submitted that the petition before the High Court was not in good faith and was certainly not in public interest.
3. It is to be noted that the Commissions For Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 (hereinafter for short 'the Act') has been enacted for the constitution of a National Commission and State Commissions for protection of child rights and children's courts for providing speedy trial of offences against children or of violation of child rights and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Section 13 which appears in Chapter III of the Act is of considerable importance.
4. The court observed that the commission has a right to inquire into complaints and even to take suo motu notice of matters relating to, (i) deprivation and violation of child rights (ii) non-implementation of laws providing for protection and development of children and (iii) non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships to and ensuring welfare of the children and to provide relief to such children, or take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities.
Ø DECISION HELD BY COURT:
1. The writ petition is accordingly disposed of without any order as to costs with a direction that if any person has any grievance, the same can be ventilated before the Commission constituted under the Act
2. All proceedings pending in any High Court relating to the matter which we have dealt with in this petition shall stand disposed of because of this order.