Madras High Court recently had occasion to observe that Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS / PSOS) cannot be termed as impotency. The marital dispute in relation to which the High Court was approached also led Justice V Bhavani Subbaroyan to remark that the present generation does not take marriage seriously.

PCOS cannot be termed as impotency: Madras High Court [Read Order]
“… the concept of marriage in the present generation are taken very lightly and even for trivial issues, they file divorce and marriage is broken”, the Court added.
PCOS cannot be termed as impotency: Madras High Court [Read Order]
Madras High Court, Principal Bench
Rintu Mariam Biju
Published on :
04 Apr, 2021 , 11:06 am
The Madras High Court recently had occasion to observe that Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS / PSOS) cannot be termed as impotency. The marital dispute in relation to which the High Court was approached also led Justice V Bhavani Subbaroyan to remark that the present generation does not take marriage seriously.

The case before the Court was tied to a marital case where the wife’s PCOS condition was raised as a factor for strained relations. Addressing certain misconceptions surrounding the condition, Justice Subbaroyan observed:

“The issue of ‘PSOS’, which is now commonly prevailing among the present generation of women due to various habits, such as, mental stress and to a very great extent, the contaminated environment, in which we live, is also one of the cause for particular women, who develop this physical problem. The term ‘PSOS’ by itself cannot be termed as ‘impotency’. Impotency is different and unable to give birth to a child is different, owing to various physical and mental reasons.”

In the course of the order, the Judge was also prompted to remark that the present generation views marriage quite lightly and that they file for divorce or attempt to ‘break a marriage’ for unimaginable trivial reasons. This is why there is an increase in the number of divorce cases before the Family Courts, opined Justice Subbaroyan.

“The marriage being a bondage between men and women as husband and wife, it not only limits to a biological needs and desires but also as a companion in life caring forward to the next generation through their children. This bondage is a factor, through which, we are living in this world for centuries. However, the concept of marriage in the present generation are taken very lightly and even for trivial issues, they file divorce and marriage is broken. That is why the Family Courts increase in numbers to cater the demand of intolerant couple, who are unmindful of the institution of marriage, break the relationship on unimaginable trivial reasons”, reads the order.
The High Court made these observations while dealing with a plea moved by a woman to quash an original petition (OP) before the family court to annul a marriage.

The woman-petitioner submitted before the High Court that her husband was seeking to annul the marriage on allegations that she was suffering from PCOS and, as such, not fit for cohabitation or giving birth to a child.

After filing the OP, the husband filed an Interim Application (pending consideration) seeking to additionally invoke Section 12(1) in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 in his petition on the ground that the wife was incapacitated from giving birth to a child.

The husband alleged that due to PCOS, his wife’s menstrual cycle would extend for more than 25 days and she has been under medication for the condition since puberty.

Subsequently, the wife approached the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India (supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court) praying to strike off the OP moved by her husband before the family court on the ground that the invocation of Section 12 (1) (a) of the Hindu Marriage Act was not sustainable. Her counsel disputed the husband’s purported stance the wife’s PCOS condition made her impotent.

The Court, however, opined that the husband had not termed his wife’s inability to give birth to a child as ‘impotency.’

Rather, the Court observed that the husband’s claim was that his wife could not bear a child given that she has not co-operated for cohabitation owing to her medical condition (PCOS) on account of which she was on her menstrual cycle for almost 25 days.

In this backdrop, the Judge observed:

“It is a legitimate expectation of the husband to live with his wife and have cohabitation and bear children and if the same is not achieved owing to any physical and mental problem among the partners, it is quite logical that either of the parties will approach the court for seeking divorce on such allegations”.

As such, the Court opined that it is not as if there was no cause of action to approach the family court. Therefore, Justice Subbaroyan held that no grounds were made out for the intervention of the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India and dismissed the wife’s civil revision petition.

[Read order here]

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