Published on: October 31, 2022 at 20:06 IST
The “Two-Finger Test” was outlawed in rape cases by the Supreme Court on Monday, and those who carried them out risked being found guilty of misconduct.
During the process of reversing a rape conviction, a bench led by Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli expressed regret that the “two-finger test” continues to be used today.
“This court has repeatedly rejected the two-finger test in cases involving allegations of rape and sexual assault. There is no scientific basis for the so-called test. Women are instead re-victimized and re-sexualized as a result.”
“The two-finger test must not be used because it is based on the false assumption that a woman who is having sex can’t be raped. Nothing could be further from the truth,” the bench said as it handed down the verdict.
“The sexual history of a woman does not affect the probative value of her testimony. Suggesting that a woman cannot be believed when she claims she was raped merely because she is sexually active is sexist and patriarchal,” the bench added.
The bench instructed the Union Health Ministry to prevent the two-finger test on rape and sexual assault survivors.
The Bench ordered both the Union Government and the State Governments to make sure that all government and private hospitals are informed about the Department of Health and Family Welfare’s guidelines, which require a two-finger test.
In addition, the Bench ordered healthcare providers to attend workshops to learn the best way to examine sexual assault survivors.
It also said that medical school curriculums should be reviewed so that the two-finger test won’t be one of the methods used to examine rape and sexual assault survivors.
The Court was deciding on an appeal against a Telangana High Court judgment that overturned a rape case trial court’s conviction.