Surrogacy, arbitration Bills get green signal
The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Surrogacy Bill. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill was introduced in 2018 by former Union Health Minister JP Nadda and was passed in the Lower House but lapsed after it could not be passed in the Upper House at the end of the 16th Lok Sabha and had to be re-introduced in the fresh term.
The Bill entails regulating surrogacy services in the country, to prohibit the potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and to protect the rights of children born through surrogacy.
The Bill seeks to ban commercial surrogacy and wants to make it an entirely altruistic alternative. The nature of the Bill which encourages altruism attracted a lot of criticism and questions were raised on whether altruism in surrogacy is feasible, largely when most surrogate women are poor and needy.
Another clause, that the couple should have been legally married for at least five years before attempting to deliver a baby through a surrogate mother, had also attracted ire, on why should a couple have to wait for five years after marriage, and what was the definition of a legally married couple.
Critics said the Bill had left single parents and aspiring parents from alternative sexualities out of it’s ambit making it very narrow in it’s outlook.
The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2018 which had also lapsed after the 16 Lok Sabha was dissolved, was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday.
The Bill seeks to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to expedite the arbitral process in India by simplifying appointment processes of arbitrators.