SC frowns on two-finger test in rape case: Stop the practice immediately it says
New Delhi, Oct 31: The Supreme Court on Monday said that it is patriarchal and sexist to say that a woman cannot be believed when she states that she was raped merely because she is sexually active.
The court said that those conducting the two finger (virginity) test on rape survivors should be prosecuted for criminal misconduct. The court said that the two finger test stands proscribed by the Supreme Court through several judgments starting 2013.
The Bench headed by Justice Dhananjaya Chandrachud frowned up the continuance of this practice even though it was established to be lacking any scientific basis to ascertain the sexual history of the victim.
"This court has time and again deprecated the use of two-finger test in cases alleging rape and sexual assault. The so-called test has no scientific basis and is an invasive method of examining rape survivors. It instead re-victimises and re-traumatises women. The two-finger test must not be conducted," Justice Chandrachud said while reading out the operative portion of the verdict.
The test is based on an incorrect assumption that a sexually active woman cannot be raped. Nothing can be farther from the truth. "It is patriarchal and sexist to suggest that a woman cannot be believed when she states that she was raped merely because she is sexually active," the Bench said.
The court directed the Centre and states to ensure that the guidelines formulated by the department of health and family welfare banning the two finger test are recirculated to all government and private hospitals. Workshops should be conducted for health care providers to communicate appropriate procedure for examining survivors of sexual assault, the Bench said.
The court also said that it was in favour of a review of curriculums in medical schools to state that two finger test is not prescribed as one of the procedures to be adopted while examining survivors of sexual assault and rape.
The order was passed while setting aside the acquittal of a man in a rape and murder case and sentencing him to a life term.