Assisted Reproductive Technology:
The Kerala High Court has said that personal choice to build a family is a fundamental right and fixing an upper age limit for the same was a restriction which needs a relook.
- The court passed the directive while disposing of a batch of petitions challenging the age limit of 50 years for women and 55 years for men prescribed under the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) (Regulation) Act, 2021, for undergoing the assisted reproductive technology.
- According to the petitioners, prescription of the upper age limit under Section 21 (G) of the ART Act is irrational, arbitrary, unreasonable and violative of their right to reproduction, which is acknowledged as a fundamental right.
- They sought to declare it as unconstitutional.
- The High Court has directed the National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board to alert the Union government about the need for having a relook at the upper age limit prescribed for using assisted reproductive technology.
- Apart from this, the petitioners have also challenged the provision wherein medical practitioners have been brought within the purview of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and offences have been made cognizable.
- These provisions are having a chilling effect on IVF practitioners across the country dissuading them from performing their professional duties due to the fear of prosecution.
- The ART (Regulation) Act 2021 provides a system for the implementation of the law on surrogacy by setting up of the National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board.
- The Act aims at the regulation and supervision of ART clinics and assisted reproductive technology banks, prevention of misuse, and safe and ethical practice of ART services.