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Legalising euthanasia be left for Parliament to debate and decide: Centre

New Delhi, 15 July-2014(PTI): The Centre today opposed in the Supreme Court the plea for legalising passive euthanasia by allowing a person in vegetative condition to die by withdrawing life-support systems, saying such issues should be debated and decided in Parliament and not by court.

Legalising euthanasia be left for Parliament to debate and decide: Centre

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi opposed the petition and said that the issue should be left for the legislative body to decide.

Appearing before a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi opposed the petition and said that the issue should be left for the legislative body to decide.

The Centre also submitted that Law Commission in its reports had also opposed the idea of legalising euthanasia. The bench, also comprising justices J S Khehar, J Chelameswar, A K Sikri, and R F Nariman, after a brief hearing asked the government to place Law reports before it and posted the case for hearing tomorrow when it will decide how to proceed with the case.

The bench was constituted to decide the contentious issue after a three-judge bench had on February 25 referred to case to larger bench to decide the issue saying it was extremely important to have a clear enunciation of law in view of inconsistent opinions in its previous judgement.

It had said that its earlier verdict of 2011 allowing passive euthanasia was delivered on a “wrong premise”.
“In view of the inconsistent opinions rendered in Aruna Shanbaug case and also considering the important question of law involved which needs to be reflected in the light of social, legal, medical and constitutional perspective, it becomes extremely important to have a clear enunciation of law. Thus, in our cogent opinion, the question of law involved requires careful consideration by a Constitution Bench of this Court for the benefit of humanity as a whole,” the court had said.

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