Two-finger test on rape survivors “patriarchal”: India supreme court

The Supreme Court also declared anybody putting the survivor through this test would be guilty of misconduct.


(File Photo)

November 1, 2022

DELHI – The Supreme Court on Monday declared the two finger-test conducted on rape as ‘patriarchal and unscientific’ and anybody putting the survivor through this test would guilty of misconduct. The apex court said that the invasive procedure is not only ‘patriarchal and unscientific’, it also re-victimises and re-traumatises the women.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said it was patriarchal to suggest that a woman cannot be believed when she states that she was raped merely because she was sexually active. It emphasized that the use of two finger test in cases alleging rape and sexual assault has been criticised time and again.

Calling the invasive procedure as “unscientific”, the Supreme Court specified that the”patriarchal” procedure re-victimises and re-traumatises the women, adding “The test is based on an incorrect assumption that a sexually active woman cannot be raped. Nothing can be further from the truth,”.

The apex court bench expressed regret over the fact that the “two finger test”, the invasive procedure adopted to determine sexual history, continues to be conducted even today.

The top court directed the central government to ensure the test was not conducted on rape survivors and the copy of its order should be sent to the police heads of all the states.

(Inputs from IANS)

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