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HC refuses to grant directions on HIV tests

The HC says it is not the appropriate forum to mandate HIV/AIDS testing before marriage and jobs, reports Urvi Jappi.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 22:26 IST
Urvi Jappi

While refusing to grant directions for mandatory HIV/ AIDS testing before marriage or before taking up a job, the Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra government to consider framing a policy for the same.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, Maharashtra Law Graduate Associate.

Government pleader Pradeep Patil told the court that the National AIDS Prevention and Control Policy of the National AIDS Control Organization mentions that no individual should be made to undergo mandatory testing for HIV

The affidavit filed by Joint Director of Health Services states that the policy stresses on the adequate availability of voluntary testing facilities with pre-test and post-test counseling. According to the policy, one HIV testing center has to be established in each district.

Besides, in case of marriage it is upto individual choice and should not be mandatory, the affidavit further states. The government ensures the social and economic well being of HIV infected persons by ensuring protection of their rights to privacy and other human rights.

Observing that the PIL raised vital issue, a division bench of Chief Justice Harjit Singh Bedi and Justice VM Kanade stated that the Central and the State government are seriously concerned about the matter and also that the HC is not the appropriate forum to formulate policies in this matter.


First Published: Nov 15, 2006 22:26 IST