The Calcutta high court. (File photo)
The Calcutta high court. (File photo)

Only widow of a dead man has the right to his sperm: Calcutta HC

The man was suffering from Thalassemia and died after storing his sperm in the sperm bank at the hospital. After his death, his father approached the hospital to get access to the sperm
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:01 PM IST

Only the widow of a dead person has the right to his preserved sperm, the Calcutta high court ruled earlier this week while rejecting a plea by the father of a man seeking access to his son’s stored sperm at a Delhi hospital.

“The sperm preserved at the St Stephen Hospital belonged to the deceased and, since the deceased was in a matrimonial relationship at the juncture of his demise, the only other person, apart from the deceased, having any right to it is his wife,” the court ordered on Tuesday.

The man was suffering from Thalassemia and died after storing his sperm in the sperm bank at the hospital. After his death, his father approached the hospital to get access to the sperm.

The hospital authorities told the father in January 2019 that as his son was married at the time of his death, they would require a no-objection from the widow.

The father approached his daughter-in-law for a no-objection, but she did not reply. Rather it was alleged that she refused to have any communication.

The father then moved the high court for access saying the sperm belongs to his deceased son.

“As far as the alleged right of the petitioner to collect such preserved sperm of his son, contrary to the arguments advanced by counsel, the petitioner does not have any ‘fundamental right’ to such permission, merely by dint of his father-son relationship with the deceased,” the court said. “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. As such, the right espoused by the petitioner for himself is illusory and non-existent.”

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