New Delhi: Parliament passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 on Friday, with Lok Sabha passing it with a voice vote amid a protest by opposition members demanding the removal of Ajay Mishra as Union minister in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Last week, Rajya Sabha passed the bill after amendments and returned it to Lok Sabha on December 14.
The bill aims to constitute a National Surrogacy Board and state surrogacy boards and appoint appropriate authorities for regulation of the practice and process of surrogacy.
It was earlier passed by Lok Sabha on August 5, 2019, and transmitted to Rajya Sabha for its concurrence. The Rajya Sabha sent the bill to the select committee for further deliberation.
Lok Sabha passed the amended bill amid uproar by opposition members demanding the removal of the minister whose son Ashish Mishra is among the accused in the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh.
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the violence.
The 228th report of the Law Commission had recommended that the government should enact legislation to ensure that there is only restrictive surrogacy in the country and commercial surrogacy is banned.
According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill, only Indian couples who have been legally married for at least five years would be allowed to opt for surrogacy.
The bill seeks to ”allow ethical altruistic surrogacy to the intending infertile Indian married couple between the age of 23-50 years and 26-55 years for female and male, respectively”.