In recent times, Punjab has witnessed a rising number of drug overdose deaths. Thus, in a unique initiative, Chandigarh is likely to set up a facility to conduct a dope test on the groom, prior to the marriage. If the groom gives his consent, the Union Territory officials are even ready to provide medical kits for the tests.
According to the TOI report, the authorities informed the Punjab and Haryana high court that why the initiative is reasonable. Last year the court has witnessed several cases of matrimonial disputes where the wives accused their husbands of being addicts.
Last year in April, Justice Ritu Bahri has observed in her orders that “Notices are issued to States of Haryana, Punjab and UT Chandigarh as well. To file their respective affidavits that as to why such facility should not be provided in every civil hospital to the respective grooms that they are not drug addicts as this court has observed that in the number of matrimonial disputes, this allegation is not substantiated at the time of investigation itself,” as mentioned in the report.
Thinking on a slightly different line, Advocate Sukant Gupta, the counsel representing Chandigarh, informed the court that the issue doesn’t lay with screening grooms for drugs but with the consent of the individual. Such tests could not be conducted without the consent of the groom.
Even though the law officers have not made the details of this facility public, the Punjab and Haryana have also given their replies to the court registry. The case will now be argued on September 18.
The initial case had reached the high court in the wake of anticipatory bail plea filed by a resident of Hoshiarpur, who was accused by his wife of harassing his wife for dowry and breach of trust. The wife had alleged in court that her husband was a drug addict, which the husband opposed, mentioned TOI report.
Further, the court ordered the Faridkot civil hospital to confirm whether the husband was an addict, but the case was cordially resolved after the couple decided to stay together and not end their marriage. The court then expanded the scope of the issue and asked the three governments to check the possibility of introducing drug screening for probable grooms.