Two Finger Test – Delhi Government withdraws the circular
Settling the controversy, the Delhi Government has withdrawn its circular which allows performing two finger test, also known as Per Vaginal (PV) test, on rape victims. Pursuant to the government order, on May 31, a three member expert panel including two gynecologists and a forensic medicine specialist had issued Guidelines which was circulated to all hospitals.
According to the expert panel, PV test being one of the essential steps in internal examination of rape victim, performing it under a complete ban of the same, will prove detrimental to the health of the victim and might even cause injustice. The Central Information Commission (CIC), earlier on an RTI application had sought explanation from the Delhi government on the allegation that PV test being carried on rape/Sexual assault victims. In reply, the advisory board maintained that PV examinations is done only for the purpose of evaluating the condition of genital organs, to document injuries, possible infection etc and not to judge if the woman under examination is habituated to sexual intercourse.
The test which involves exceeding violations into one’s person had already been condemned by the Justice Verma Committee, formed after December 2012 gang rape and by Supreme Court of India, which held that it violated the right to privacy of the rape/sexual assault victim. (Lillu @ Rajesh and Anr. V. State of Haryana [(2013)14SCC643]). The circular had received furious response from all quarters of human right activism. Meanwhile, the Government clarified that the State Health Department Officials who issued this circular will be subjected to legal action.