Wife has right over deceased man's sperm: Calcutta HC
(Sourced from PTI)
On January 19, the Calcutta High Court refused to entertain the plea of a man seeking the right to collect his dead son's frozen sperm, maintaining that the only person having any right to it is his wife. Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya said that the petitioner does not have any fundamental right to collect the son's preserved sperm merely by dint of the father-son relationship.
The petitioner's counsel submitted that the widow of his son, in that case, ought to be directed to give her no-objection or, at least, respond to his request. The court, however, rejected the prayer. The deceased was in a matrimonial relationship till death, therefore, making his wife the rightful possessor of the frozen sperm. The deceased's sperm is preserved at a hospital in Delhi.
"The father-son relationship of the petitioner and the deceased does not entail any such right of the petitioner to the progeny of his son," Justice Bhattacharyya observed. The court rejected the petitioner's counsel's prayer asking it to direct the deceased's wife to submit a no-objection.
The court said that as far as the prayer for a direction upon the wife to respond to the petitioner's communication is concerned, the matter is beyond the scope of the writ court, as it does not involve any violation of fundamental or statutory right. The petitioner contended that his son was a patient of thalassemia, and had preserved his sperm for future use.
Notably, the petitioner had approached the hospital to collect the sperm on the grounds of being the deceased's father. The hospital then informed him that permission from the man's wife and proof of marriage is required. Following this, the petitioner urged the widow to issue a no-objection, the petitioner's lawyer stated, adding that she refused to acknowledge the receipt of the communication.