The issue of SPERM has gained a lot of importance these days!
A woman saved her boy friend’s sperm (without his knowledge) and after he split up with her, the woman , with the help of an in-vitro fertilization clinic, used the sperm, so stolen, and conceived. The clinic, in the US, sent the bill to the woman’s ex-boyfriend. This sending of the bill is without prejudice to the claims of child support that the ex-girlfriend is likely to raise in the courts!
In another case, a lesbian couple used a donor’s sperm to get themselves impregnated and now the Donor is facing paternity consequences of child support!
These are just 2 instances and the web is replete with such bizarre tales, that one cringes to even read the articles written on the topic!
In TORTS there is something called STRICT LIABILITY and ABSOLUTE LIABILITY and in both the cases “mens rea’ does not apply- which means the action which happened need not be the one “intended’ by the defendant. But how it differs is that in STRICT LIABILITY it has to be shown that at the time the culpable act took place, the defendant was in control and therefore even though the act was unintended, the defendant caused it. Whereas in ABSOLUTE LIABILITY it is merely necessary that a particular thing “caused’ was because of a particular ‘defect’ or ‘action’ which facilitated the damage. Now that may not be clear- as it was not when I tried reading, therefore an example might bring clarity. In the OLEUM GAS LEAK case decided by the Supreme Court of India, the following observation was made, which adequately explains ABSOLUTE LIABILITY!
- We are of the view that an enterprise which is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous industry which poses a potential threat to the health and safety of the persons working in the factory and residing in the surrounding areas owes an absolute and non-delegable duty to the community to ensure that no harm results to anyone on account of hazardous or inherently dangerous nature of the activity which it has undertaken.
- The enterprise must be held to be under an obligation to provide that the hazardous or inherently dangerous activity in which it is engaged must be conducted with the highest standards of safety and if any harm results on account of such activity, the enterprise must be absolutely liable to compensate for such harm and it should be no answer to the enterprise to say that it had taken all reasonable care and that the harm occurred without any negligence on its part.
- LIKEWISE, if the sperm’s “PRODUCER” is found to be the father of the child, it is no answer that the man had never cohabited with the woman who claims to be the mother of the child! So, ABSOLUTE LIABILITY is on!
- Things have come to such a pass that men are forced to keep their “stuff” to themselves and take extra care to dispose of the “sperm”, so that they do not get slapped with paternity suits and child maintenance! According to the EVIDENCE ACT of INDIA, in paternity suits the accused could show that he had not cohabited with the mother or that he could not have had access to the woman during the period prior to her pregnancy . But with the new law raising such issues, man has to become very careful otherwise wily women could bleed men with such devices!
- NO MORE WILD OATS, AS THE OATS’ OWNER IS TRACKABLE AND SLAPPED WITH RESPONSIBILITY!