HC asks state to follow new manual, with no two-finger test for rape

The state has been instructed to put in place the victim-friendly forensic examination manual for sexual assault cases by Bombay high court on Wednesday. The manual directs doctors to do away with the two-finger test, terming it irrelevant.

The unscientific and humiliating two-finger test is currently conducted by doctors to determine vaginal laxity, which indicates whether the rape victim is accustomed to sexual intercourse.

The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Vijay Patiat and social worker Dr Ranjana Pardhi, based on a study by Dr Indrajit Khandekar, associate professor of forensic medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, which points out loopholes in medical examination of sexual assault victims.

The proforma, a dramatic shift from the earlier three-page document, includes recording patient history, list of specimen collection, opinion writing, and follow-up check-ups also on her mental condition, whether she has contracted sexually transmitted diseases, among other things.

The Justice JS Verma committee had recommended scrapping the two-finger test, apart from emphasising the need to provide psychosocial support to the victim.

“In the last hearing, the court told us that we should start implementing their 2011 order. The Directorate of Health Services and the medical colleges will now have to distribute the proforma of the forensic examination in their respective hospitals and centres,” said Bharati Dangre, who appeared for the state.

Dr S Nanandkar, who heads the eight-member panel that finalised the proforma, said they are awaiting communication from Dangre to start implementation.

 

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