Govt rules out making pre-marital potency test mandatory, says it should be voluntary

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Madras High Court proposal for pre marital potency test ruled out by govt.
New Delhi, Oct 15: Shooting down the Madras High Court's proposal to make clinical examination for screening impotency before marriage, the central government said that it would be inappropriate to do so as it would violate privacy and human rights. The govt also said that potency tests should therefore be undergone voluntarily.

Making its submission to the Madurai bench of Madras high court through assistant solicitor general G.R. Swaminathan, the Union ministry of health and family welfare was quoted as saying in Deccanchronicle, "It is felt that any medical examination should be done only with the prior consent of the individual and cannot be forced. It cannot be made mandatory for anyone. In this case also, such examination, so as to rule out impotence/frigidity, may be offered to only those who are voluntarily seeking it. Otherwise, it may amount to intrusion of privacy of an individual and may lead to human rights issues."

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The ministry's sent by Sanjay Pant, under secretary to the Government of India, to the court was quoted as saying in TOI, " Sexual behaviour differed from individual to individual, besides partner to partner. It is not appropriate to make clinical examination for ruling out impotency/frigidity mandatory."

The Madurai bench of Madras high court sent this proposal and sought response of the Central and state governments on the necessity of the pre-marital clinical examination to prevent failure of marriages due to impotency/frigidity, after a petition filed by a woman seeking divorce on the ground of incompatibility and impotency came to fore.

As per TOI, "Finding that the incidence of impotency among married couples was quite high, Justice Kirubakaran mooted punishment for people who suppress impotency or frigidity at the time of marriage and cheat their would-be spouses."

After Centre called this proposal inappropriate, Justice Kirubakaran has now asked the Centre to file a proper and detailed counter-affidavit on the matter.

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