Potency Poser to Law Ministry

Judge asks Union Law Dept to check feasibility of amending law

Published: 29th October 2014 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2014 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

MADURAI: A fortnight after the Union Health Ministry informed the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) that it would not be feasible to make premarital potency tests mandatory, Justice N Kirubakaran on Tuesday issued suo motu notice to the Union Law Ministry to submit its views on the issue.

Last month, while dealing with a petition filed by a Theni-based couple, the judge had issued notices to various parties including the Central Government seeking their opinion on making premarital potency tests mandatory to prevent divorces on grounds of impotency and frigidity.

When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, the Assistant Solicitor General G R Swaminathan submitted a fresh counter affidavit on behalf of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stating that the department has no powers to amend the law and make premarital clinical test mandatory as this comes under the domain of the Union Law Department.

Recording the submission, Justice Kirubakaran suo motu impleaded the Secretary of Law and Justice as party to the case and ordered notice to him.

The judge asked the Law Department to check the feasibility of amending the law so as to mandate brides and bridegrooms to subject themselves to clinical tests to determine their potency.

Earlier, the court posed several questions including why the Central government cannot amend the marriage laws to fast track the divorce cases on the grounds of impotency and frigidity.

The court also wanted  to include a provision for awarding compensation and punishment for suppression of impotency or frigidity at the time of marriage, as this amounts to cheating the partner.

Justice Kirubakaran had also held a one-day special sitting to listen to the views of various stakeholders on the sensitive issue.

During the last hearing, the Health Ministry had argued that any medical examination should be done only with the consent of the individual and cannot be mandatory.


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