Kerala HC allows leave to life convict to undergo IVF treatment

Kerala High Court has allowed a 15 day leave to a life convict for undergoing In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment to have a child on a plea moved by his wife.

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan came to the aid of the couple saying that when a wife comes to the court with such a request, it “cannot ignore the same on technicalities”.

The court said conviction and sentence in criminal cases was mainly to reform and rehabilitate the offenders.

“A person who has undergone a sentence in a criminal case need not be treated as a different person when he comes out. He has every right to lead a decent life just like any other citizen.”

“Therefore, I am of the opinion that the authorities should give a minimum of 15 days leave to the petitioner’s husband for continuing IVF/ICSI procedure/treatment,” the judge said in order given recently.

The court directed the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services to grant leave to the man for undergoing the IVF treatment, in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible and at any rate within two weeks from date of receipt of a certified copy of the order.

While granting the relief to the couple, the court made it clear that the instant order need not be taken as a precedent in all cases.

“Each case has to be considered based on its merit. The genuineness of the claim is important. The convicts cannot make use of this to get out of jail. Each case has to be considered based on the genuineness of the claim,” it said.

The husband of the 31-year-old woman, a post-graduate in Mathematics and working as a teacher, is presently lodged in the Central Prison and Correctional Services at Viyyur.

In her plea before the court, the woman had said that they have no children since their marriage in 2012 and it was their dream to have a child.

She had also told the court she and her husband have been undergoing treatment under different branches of medicine, but nothing was fruitful.

The woman had also stated in her plea that the couple was under treatment at a private hospital in Muvattupuzha and the doctor had suggested that they undergo IVF/ICSI (In Vitro Fertilization /Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) procedure.

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For the treatment it was necessary that her husband was present along with her for three months, she had told the court.

The prosecution had opposed the plea claiming that the man was not eligible for leave presently.

“It is stated that it is the dream of the petitioner and her husband to see a child in their relationship. They are continuing treatment in that regard and for completing the treatment, the presence of the husband of the petitioner is necessary.”

“Can this Court shut its eye to such a request on technicalities and rules, if the claim is genuine?” the court observed.

It held that considering the facts and circumstances of this case, the petitioner-woman was entitled to the relief prayed for.

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