The medical examination of an alleged rape victim in East Champaran has been mired in controversy ever since National Commission for Women (NCW) member Sushma Sahu claimed that the ‘two-finger test’ was performed on her to ascertain sexual assault.
Though Dr Prashant Kumar – the civil surgeon at Motihari – denied any such occurrence, Sahu has quoted from the medical report to buttress her allegation.
The NCW member told HT over the phone from New Delhi that a team of doctors performed the much-maligned test on the rape victim in her presence at Motihari on June 25.
“The two-finger test has been banned by the Supreme Court. The medical authorities of Motihari have committed a highly condemnable act. I have mentioned it in the report submitted to the NCW chairperson today,” she said.
The Supreme Court had held on May 2013 that the two-finger test violates the rape victim’s right to privacy, and asked the government to come up with better medical procedures to confirm sexual assault.
A bench of Justices BS Chauhan and FMI Kalifulla said that even if the two-finger test gives a positive report, it cannot give rise to the presumption of consent on the part of a rape victim. “Medical procedures should not be carried out in a manner that constitutes cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” the bench added.
Though Sahu denied that she has called the girl to New Delhi for further medical examination, she maintained that she will get better treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Dr Kumar, however, insisted that only essential procedures were employed for conducting the medical examination on the victim. “There is nothing like a two-finger, three-finger or one-finger test,” he said.
East Champaran district magistrate Anupam Kumar endorsed the civil surgeon’s stand.
Meanwhile, medical experts continued to debate over the truth behind the incident. While Dr Kumar said the medical examination conducted by his team failed to establish rape, Motihari Sadar Hospital deputy medical superintendent Dr Manoj Kumar – who was part of the first medical board that examined the victim – insisted that she was sexually assaulted.