PRS Parliament Diary: Winter Session – Day 4: Nov 21st, 2016

The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill and the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill were introduced in Lok Sabha today. The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill consolidates the laws relating to admiralty jurisdiction, legal proceedings in connection with vessels, their arrest, detention, sale and other matters connected. The jurisdiction with respect to maritime claims under the Bill will vest in the respective High Courts and will extend up to territorial waters of their respective jurisdictions. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple and agrees to hand over the child after the birth to them. It prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy. The bill also specifies the eligibility criteria for intending couple and the surrogate mother, among other things. Some conditions specified for the surrogate mother include that she be married with a child of her own, and be between the ages of 25 and 35. She can be a surrogate only once in her lifetime; and should possess a certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy.