Centre rejects Madras HC's suggestion on potency test

The Centre on Tuesday rejected the suggestion of the Madras High Court that potential grooms and brides be made to undergo clinical tests for sexual potency before they agree to marry.

Madurai: The Centre on Tuesday rejected the suggestion of the Madras High Court that potential grooms and brides be made to undergo clinical tests for sexual potency before they agree to marry.

In a counter filed before the court, Sanjay Pant, Under Secretary of government of India, said after thorough consultations with Director General of Health Services, the government "felt that any medical examination should be done only with the prior consent of the individual and the same cannot be forced".

"It (impotency test) cannot be made mandatory for any one -- bride or groom," he said.

The government said even in the case which the High Court was hearing, such examination, so as to rule out impotency or frigidity, could be conducted only if those involved voluntarily sought the same. "Otherwise it may amount to intrusion of privacy of an individual and may lead to human rights issues."

"Even after going elaborate medical examination and investigation, it may not be possible to categorically label any individual suffered from impotency/frigidity in many cases". Further the sexual behaviour of any individual differed from individual to individual and partner to partner," he maintained.

Hearing a case under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, a bench of the high court here had on August 27 suggested that couples should undergo medical examinations to check for impotency or sexually transmitted diseases before marriage.

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