Supreme Court gives Japanese grandmother custody of Manji

August 20th, 2008 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday allowed 74-year-old Japanese woman Emiko Yamada to take custody of her 25-day-old grandaughter Manji, born to an Indian surrogate mother.A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and M.K. Sharma also asked the NGO Satya to explain its locus standi on the matter. Satya is opposing custody being given to the Japanese relatives saying that Manji is an abandoned baby.

Solicitor General of India G.E. Vahanvati has been asked to appear before the court on the next date of hearing to clarify the central government’s stand on various issues arising out of the baby’s birth — including who her parents are in the absence of surrogacy laws in India and her citizenship.

Manji, born in Gujarat’s Anand town, got entangled in a legal tussle as Indian laws prohibit the child’s divorced Japanese father from taking her custody.

The baby’s parents, Ikufumi Yamada, 45, and his wife Yuki Yamada, 41, came to India a year ago and hired the services of a surrogate mother. The couple separated and then divorced during the pregnancy for the baby.

Soon after the baby was born and shifted to Ahmedabad, the city was hit by serial bombings. Manji was then moved to a hospital in Jaipur, where she is now being looked after.

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