A female Air Force officer has made waves after alleging that she was made to "relive the trauma" of sexual assault after being subjected to a banned testing method. According to the victim, Indian Air Force doctors had administered the two-fingered test - an illegal, unscientific examination to determine sexual abuse - and she was also questioned about her "sexual history".
According to an NDTV report, the alleged harassment took place approximately two weeks ago, with the woman approaching the police because she was unsatisfied with the action taken by the IAF. Reportedly she had been made to submit a withdrawal of her complaint twice. While the first was in writing, she had been asked to sign a letter with changes the second time around. She had refused to sign.
Simply put, the two finger test is an intrusive physical examination that is intended to gauge the laxity of a woman's vaginal muscles and whether the hymen is present or distended. Not only are such tests considered to be a blatant violation of a woman's dignity, it is also unscientific and inconclusive in ascertaining rape.
The Supreme Court had previously held that the results of such tests cannot be used against rape survivors and that it was irrelevant whether the victim was seemingly "habituated to sexual intercourse". More recently, the Lahore High Court had held that the test was unconstitutional, and offends the personal dignity of the victim.
The accused IAF officer will be present before the additional Mahila court in Coimbatore on Thursday, and the court will decide whether his case should be transferred to the IAF for conducting the probe. Amitesh was arrested by the Coimbatore police for allegedly sexually assaulting his 27-year-old female colleague on September 25.
According to the complaint, the woman had come to Air Force College for training and the assault took place inside her room at the Air Force Administrative College in Coimbatore's Redfields. She got injured while playing a sport. After taking administering medication, she went to sleep in her room, and when she woke up she found that she had been sexually assaulted, said the complaint.
The accused, a flight lieutenant, was arrested by the Coimbatore All-Women police on September 25 after he surrendered before the district judge court. His lawyer however said that the police do not have jurisdiction in matters relating to the armed forces personnel as such cases can only be heard by a defense court. Police have said the issue of jurisdiction is being discussed.
(With inputs from agencies)
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