Two Finger Test: Victim’s ‘Two Finger Test’ Banned In Rape Cases, What Experts Said: Membrane damage has a different character than rape. Hence there is no need for a two-finger test
‘Two finger test’ is totally prohibited
In 2013, the country’s highest court banned the ‘Two Finger Test’. But for not reaching that verdict at all levels, women who were victims of sexual assault or rape were still facing the ‘two-finger test in different parts of the country. A Supreme Court bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli, while hearing a case in this regard on Monday, banned the ‘two-finger test’ of the victim to get evidence of rape or not. Not only that, the Supreme Court has mentioned in the verdict that if someone does this test, he will also face punishment. The Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry has been directed by the Supreme Court to inform all public and private hospitals of the country and remove this issue from the curriculum of medical colleges.
As soon as this judgment came to light, a section of lawyers said that the Supreme Court had termed this test as ‘unconstitutional’ 9 years ago. At the same time this ‘two finger test’ was also termed as ‘disrespectful’ to women. It does not end here. The report submitted by the Varma Committee formed after the Nirbhaya case in 2012 also stated that the ‘two-finger test is not legal. On the basis of this the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2013 in 2013 called this test ‘illegal’. In this regard, Calcutta High Court lawyer Debashis Bandyopadhyay was contacted. In his words, “In 2013, the Supreme Court gave the same verdict in the case of Lilly v. State of Haryana. But the verdict was less publicized. That judgment was limited to lawyers and police administration. Doctors or people associated with medical science could not even know it. As a result, that unscientific experiment remained in some places.” However, Debashisbabu is also hopeful that the Supreme Court’s verdict will change this time.
Ravikant, a Supreme Court lawyer and social worker working with children, said, “This test was conducted because the district level did not comply with the verdict. Each state has to see if this law is being strictly enforced in its districts. Otherwise, women will continue to be disrespected.” But is there a need for this test to know whether rape has happened at all? Sunanda Mukhopadhyay, the former chairperson of the State Women’s Commission, has caught the patriarchal attitude. That is what came up in Monday’s verdict. According to Sunandadevi, “Whether a woman has been raped or not is not caught by the ‘two-finger test. If she is a mother or in a sexual relationship with someone, there is no point in doing this test. Rather, society still thinks that if he has sex, he cannot be a victim of rape. And from that rooted idea, this test is done in many places and tries to prove that the woman is not a good character.”
In the ‘two-finger test, the doctor inserted two fingers into the victim’s private parts and tested the relaxation of the muscles there. It was also checked whether the hymen of the victim was intact or not. The World Health Organization (World Health Organization) also informed that this test is unscientific. Incidentally, the case on behalf of which the Supreme Court gave this judgment on Monday is also a rape case. In this case, the accused tried to rape and burn a 16-year-old girl in Jharkhand. The accused was sentenced to life imprisonment in the trial. However, this test has not been conducted in West Bengal since 2015-16, said a police officer. He said that they are rescuing several trafficked girls. Although this exam was conducted at one time, it was not conducted since 2015-16. However, medico-legal tests are mandatory for justice and investigation of the victims. Medico-legal tests were conducted with the permission of the lady police and the victim or his home, and are still done in the state.
How do doctors understand if a woman is a rape victim? A doctor at a government hospital, who did not want to be named, says, “The character of membrane damage is different from the type of injury that occurs in cases of sexual assault or rape. Hence there is no need for the ‘two-finger test.” However, the definition of child sexual abuse has changed. Any type of ‘penetration’ is defined as sexual assault under the law. There is no scientific acceptance of this ‘two finger test. A bench of Supreme Court Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli said that putting the victim through this ordeal would mean inflicting emotional pain on her again.