HC won’t decide policy on HIV testing

16 November 2006

The Bombay High Court has held that it is not a technical expert to decide on issues related to HIV so as to make it compulsory for couples to go for the test before marriage.A division bench comprising Chief Justice H S Bedi and Justice V M Kanade was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Maharashtra Law Graduates’ Association seeking HIV tests to be made compulsory before marriage. They also sought a special committee to be appointed by the court that would check the viability of making the test mandatory.The petitioner’s counsel contended that just a few months ago, India was the second largest HIV positive country next to South Africa. Therefore, dealing with this issue is necessary, he said.However, the court said that while the matter was of ‘vital importance’, the state and central governments that deal with these issues must be the forum to consider the prayers of the petitioner while conceptualising any policy regarding HIV in India. (UNI)