Supreme Court Bans “Two-Finger Test” For Rape Survivors, Calls It ‘Patriarchal & Sexist’ Procedure 

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NET Web Desk

The Supreme Court (SC) prohibited “two-finger tests” in rape cases on Monday and warned that people conducting such tests would be held guilty of misconduct.

Citing such tests as ‘unfortunate’, the apex court noted that the practice is still prevalent in the society. 

A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli made the observations while restoring conviction in a rape case and referring to the practice as ‘patriarchal’ and ‘sexist’. This decision was made, after the demand for a “sound standard of conducting and interpreting forensic examination” of rape survivors gained momentum. 

“The probative value of a woman’s testimony does not depend on her sexual history. 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 court stated.

It directed the Union Health Ministry to ensure that survivors of sexual assault and rape are not subjected to two-finger tests. 

The Bench further directed to conduct workshops for health providers to communicate appropriate procedures examining survivors of sexual assault. It also instructed the authorities to review curriculums in medical schools so that the two-finger test is not prescribed as one of the procedures to be adopted while examining survivors of sexual assault and rape. 

As per the Bar and Bench report, “the two-finger or per vaginum examination is an invasive physical procedure where the medical professional inserts two fingers inside the vagina of a rape survivor to check if the hymen has ruptured or not, to infer whether sexual assault or intercourse took place.” 

The Court was hearing an appeal filed against a judgment of the Telangana High Court which overturned the conviction recorded by a trial court in a rape case.

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