An aged couple in Kerala has sought legal recourse to secure possession of their deceased son's semen, which is in the possession of a private hospital near the city.
The couple's counsel, P V Aniyan, said the case was first taken up on Wednesday by the Lok Adalat here. "Our only demand is that the semen that is now stored in the hospital be released and given to my clients because they would like to have a surrogate child from their son's semen.
The hospital authorities told the Lok Adalat that they needed some more time. They were allowed more time and the case has been posted for January 13," said Aniyan.
The aged couple, who hail from the lower strata of society, have been keeping away from the media glare and do not want any publicity over the issue, said Aniyan.
"The father is a casual worker, while the mother is a sweeper. They had just one son, 28-year-old Ratheesh, who passed away last year. He was studying sound engineering in a Bangalore institute, when he was affected with a tumour in his testes," said Aniyan.
"Soon, his treatment started and according to medical advice his semen was collected and stored for further use. But he passed away last year after he got afflicted with pneumonia."
Aniyan said the parents decided to approach the Lok Adalat because they wanted justice to be delivered to them fast.
"All of us are hopeful that justice would be delivered to my clients because they do not have any other children and are now too old to conceive and wish to have a child through assisted reproductive technology using their son's semen," he said.
The chairperson of the Kerala Women's Commission, Justice (retired) D Sreedevi said so far the case had not come before them.
"But there is no reason why the hospital should keep the semen of a deceased person. The parents have the right to get it back because it is their son's," said Sreedevi.