The Indian Supreme Court Monday reiterated the ban on the two-finger test as a probe tool to check the validity of claims by sexual assault survivors, A bench of justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli commented that it is unfortunate that the two-finger test is still conducted, adding that rape cannot be avoided even by sexually active women.
the Supreme Court of India said on Monday “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”.
Despite the fact that the two-finger test has been prohibited by the Supreme Court since 2013, it was frowned upon by the SC bench headed by Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud despite the fact that the practice was found to lack any scientific basis for determining a victim’s sexual history.
The court has repeatedly deprecated the use of the two-finger test in rape and sexual assault cases. A rape survivors’ so-called test has no scientific basis and is an invasive examination… Instead of re-victimizing and re-traumatizing women, it re-victimizes and re-traumatizes them. In reading a judgment in a criminal case, justice Chandrachud declared that the two-finger test should not be conducted.
He added, “The test is based on an incorrect assumption that a sexually active woman cannot be raped. Nothing can be further from the truth.”
Women’s testimony has the same probative value regardless of their sexual histories, the court declared. “It is patriarchal and sexist to suggest that women cannot be believed when they claim that they have been raped due to their sexual activity,” the court concluded.
A series of directives were issued by the top court to ensure that its previous judgments would be implemented. It instructed the Centre and states to ensure that all government and private hospitals were made aware of the guidelines formulated by the department of health and family welfare banning the two-finger test.
Further, healthcare providers must attend workshops to learn appropriate procedures for examining sexual assault survivors.
According to the Supreme Court, the two-finger test on a rape victim violates her right to privacy, and the government should provide better medical methods for confirming the sexual assault.
As a result of the 2013 judgment, rape survivors are entitled to legal remedies that do not violate their integrity and dignity, according to various international covenants. It had stated back then that medical procedures should not be carried out in a way that constitutes cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, and that health should be a paramount concern when dealing with gender-based violence.