Government to decide on Baby Manji’s travel papers in a month

September 29th, 2008 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday asked the central government to decide within a month on the plea to grant travel documents to baby Manji, born to an Indian surrogate mother and a Japanese father.A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat also asked Rajasthan-based civil rights group Satya to approach the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights for redressal of their grievances, if any, on the citizenship, parentehood and custody of the baby.

The bench gave its ruling on a plea by Manji’s 74-year-old Japanese grandmother Emiko Yamada, seeking directions to the central government to issue proper travel documents to the two-month-old baby.

The bench asked the government to decide on her plea within four weeks.

Born to an unknown Indian woman and her Japanese biological father Ikufumi Yamada on July 25 at Anand in Gujarat, Manji got caught in a legal wrangle as India’s laws prohibit the child’s divorced Japanese father from taking her custody. Her parents were divorced soon after her conception.

Opposing Manji’s custody to her Japanese biological relatives, Satya had contended that in the absence of a surrogacy law in the country, no one could claim to be the baby’s legitimate parent.

It argued that the child had been abandoned by her Japanese biological father and her surrogate Indian mother as none of them were seeking her custody.

The baby’s custody instead is being sought by Yamada, who claims to be Manji’s grandmother, contended Satya.

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