Starting July, the civic body’s health department will survey assisted reproduction technology (ART) clinics and genetic counselling centres.
The decision came after nonprofit Lek Ladki Abhyaan, led by advocate Varsha Deshpande, met additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
Last week, Deshpande had registered a complaint under the Pre Conception Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, asking the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to probe news reports stating actor Shahrukh Khan and his wife were having a baby boy through surrogacy. Sex determination is illegal in India.
“The delegation has brought to our notice that there are many groups operating on the fringe that may not be registered,” said Mhaiskar. “We will hopefully finish the survey in two weeks.”
Following the inquiry, unconfirmed reports indicate the couple has commissioned the surrogacy in London.
“As long as they hold Indian passports, the law is applicable to them. But if the doctor is from a country that allows sex determination, the Indian government cannot do much,” said advocate Amit Karkhani.`
Deshpande claimed the BMC had no records of IVF centres. “Jaslok has not submitted records for ten years. This shows the actor could have got the surrogacy and nothing was recorded.”