MADURAI: A senior Union Health Department official today submitted before the Madras High Court bench here that the central government does not maintain any data on marriages that fail due to impotency/frigidity.
In his affidavit filed before the bench today on behalf of the secretary of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, Durai Venkatesan, Senior Regional Director of Health and Family Welfare, said the issue of making pre-marital clinical exam of the parties mandatory was discussed from the technical angle with the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The DGHS had also held consultations with various experts and it was felt that medical examination should be done only with the prior consent of the individual and cannot be forced on people. Otherwise, it would amount to intrusion of privacy of a person and may lead to a human rights issue, he said.
Besides, even after going through elaborate medical test and investigation it may not be possible to categorically label any individual as impotent/frigid. Sexual behaviour of an individual may differ from situation to situation, he said.
Besides the issue of amendment in marriage laws does not come under the domain of the ministry. The issue of including a provision to award compensation and punishment for suppression of impotency and frigidity at the time of marriage and cheating their parents also does not come under it.
As per the Constitution, public health, sanitation and hospitals are state subjects. Referring to the court's view on the importance of pre-marital clinical examination so as to prevent marriage of people suffering from HIV, he said the information on HIV had to be periodically collected by the hospital which were under the control of the state government.
After submission of the affidavit by Venkatesan, Justice N Kirubakaran directed impleading the secretary of the Ministry of Law and Justice and ordered notice to him to give his view on making pre-marital clinical examination mandatory and reserved his orders, pending reply from the Law Secretary.
The judge had earlier suggested that prospective couples get pre-marital clinical examinations done to avoid impotency and sexually transmitted diseases spoiling matrimonial lives.
The judge had stated this while hearing a petition by one Ramesh, seeking to quash a case filed against him under domestic violence act as his wife said his family had hidden the fact that he was impotent and married her.