Bhopal: Seven month after SC's directives, State PHQ issues order to stop two-finger test on rape, sexual assault survivors

Bhopal: Seven month after SC's directives, State PHQ issues order to stop two-finger test on rape, sexual assault survivors

The Supreme Court had earlier observed that the test is scientifically inaccurate, patriarchal, and an affront to the dignity of sexually assaulted women.

RAJESH THAKUR Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 11:17 PM IST
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Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): The police headquarters have issued to all police units of the state, to stop two-finger test on the rape and sexual assault survivors. The order comes almost seven months after Supreme Court’s direction on two-finger test in Shailendra Kumar Rai v/s Jharkhand state case on October 31, 2022. The ADG of state women safety issued the order which stated that ‘two-finger test’ conducted on the rape and sexual assault survivors during their medical examinations be stopped with immediate effect. The apex court’s order states that ‘The two-finger test shall not be undertaken in any manner while examining survivors of sexual assault and rape’.

In this connection, the women safety division of the Union ministry of home affairs on April 20, issued directives to the police units all across the country. The department of health and family welfare had also issued the directives in this regard. The MHA has directed to conduct workshops for health providers to communicate the appropriate procedure to be adopted while examining survivors of sexual assault and rape.  

It also instructed to review the curriculum in medical examination in medical schools with a view to ensure that the test is not prescribed as one of the procedures to be adopted while examining the survivors.

In the judgment (of October 31,2022), the Court observed that the test is scientifically inaccurate, patriarchal, and an affront to the dignity of sexually assaulted women. The court further underlined that “the probative value of a woman’s testimony does not depend on her sexual history”. The court also directed the Union and state governments to ensure that medical professionals who continue to conduct the test be held guilty of misconduct. 

Earlier in another case of state Haryana, the Supreme Court observed that “the two finger test and its interpretation violate the right of rape survivors to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity”.

The Gujarat High Court observed that the two-finger test is an unscientific method of examination. Various other high courts have stated that this test has no evidence—medical or forensic—to back it up, and thus should not be relied upon.

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