The high court said that the women should not face any problems regarding their health, shelter and wellbeing, even if the government seals the fertility centre.

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news News Friday, June 23, 2017 - 10:20

Days after the Hyderabad police raided the Sai Kiran Infertility Centre at Banjara Hills, the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday issued notice to the state government on steps taken to safeguard the health of the 48 surrogate mothers who were kept confined in the hospital. 

The high court said that the women should not face any problems regarding their health, shelter and wellbeing, even if the government seals the fertility centre. 

According to a report by SagarKumar Mutha in The Times of India, BS Prasad, the government pleader for the state medical and health department, said that the state would take care of the women. 

The HC bench has directed the government to file an affidavit within a week on the same. 

The plight of the women came to light last Saturday, when the Hyderabad Central Zone Task Force raided the centre.

Police reportedly said that the infertility centre had hired brokers, and was collecting Rs 15 to Rs 30 lakh from their clients, however only Rs 3 lakh would be paid to the 48 surrogate mothers. 

The women were kept in the second and third floor of the building where they were being provided with food, medicine, and Rs 10,000 as subsistence allowance.

On Thursday, during the hearing, Justice Ranganathan was quoted in Deccan Chronicle as saying that under no circumstances the identities of the surrogate mothers should be revealed and if their privacy is violated, the court will hold the state responsible.

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha, however the bill is yet to be passed.  

“We heard that fertility clinics are posing as Assisted Reproductive Technology centres without there being any qualified embryologists, gynaecologists, general physicians and the required infrastructure. They collect around Rs. 50 lakh from NRI couples while a surrogate mother is being paid a mere Rs. 2.5 lakh,” BS Prasad told TOI. 

As the women are unwilling to move out of the fertility centre, the HC bench directed the state to examine their health and provide the required care to the women.

The News Minute had earlier spoken to some of the women staying at the centre who informed that they were not being forced into surrogacy.

Read: The surrogacy dilemma: Rescued Hyd women say they don't want ban, only better conditions