Supreme Court says to stop two-finger test to confirm rape patriarchal

Stop two-finger test to confirm rape patriarchal, sexist: Supreme Court
Stop two-finger test to confirm rape patriarchal, sexist: Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today slammed the use of the “two-finger test” in cases of rape and sexual assault and asked the centre to ensure the practice is stopped. The practice has no scientific basis to ascertain the sexual history of women, and it instead re-traumatizes them, the Supreme Court said as it ruled that any individual conducting this test on a survivor will be held guilty of misconduct.

“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,” the top court said.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli made these observations while restoring conviction in a rape case.

The bench overturned a Jharkhand High Court’s ruling acquitting a rape and murder convict, and upheld a decision of a trial court holding him guilty.

The top court directed the centre and the states to review curriculums in all government and private medical colleges and have the study materials on the “two-finger test” removed.

The Supreme Court also asked the health ministry to conduct workshops for health service providers in all states in order to communicate the appropriate procedure for examining the survivors of sexual assault.

In 2013 too, the Supreme Court held that the “two-finger test” violated a woman’s dignity and privacy.


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