A Nagpur bench of the HC comprising Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and P D Kode yesterday asked the Government to circulate the new guidelines, prepared by Indrajit Khandekar, a forensic medicine expert, to all hospitals and police stations, and file a compliance report after eight weeks.
The direction was given on a PIL filed on the basis of a report by Khandekar, Assistant Professor in Department of Forensic Medicine at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sewagram.
The report is titled "Pitiable & Horrendous Quality of Forensic Medical Examination of Sexually Assaulted Victims''. The PIL was filed by Chairperson of Child Welfare Committee (Nagpur) Ranjana Pardhi and a local lawyer, Vijay Patil.
Khandekar-suggested guidelines, running into seven pages, are a vast improvement over the Government's three-page proforma issued earlier on the HC's orders related to medical exam of rape victims and instruction manual in such matters.
The new rules, among others, will have a provision for forensic medical examination even if the victims report the matter on their own to hospital without any police report.
The norms will do away with the unscientific and heavily criticised finger test which was used by the doctors to opine whether the girl is habituated to sexual intercourse or not, according to the PIL.
This will definitely plug the loopholes present in current system and help to avoid miscarriage of justice and human rights violation, it said. The petitioners had claimed that rapists often get acquitted for lack of evidence due to incorrect reports filed by medical officials.