Consent of rape victim mandatory for PV test: Govt

Consent of rape victim mandatory for PV test: Govt

The Delhi government has reiterated in its latest guidelines that rape victims’ consent is mandatory to conduct the controversial ‘two-finger’ test during their medical examination.

But NGOs working for the cause said that the guidelines are mere an “eyewash” as there is no grievance redressal mechanism put in place by the administration.

The city government has issued the advisory after the Central Information Commission took up an RTI appeal by an NGO.

A three-member committee of doctors, including two senior gynaecologists and forensic medical expert, was constituted by the city government’s Department of Health and Family Welfare to formulate the guidelines.

According to the latest advisory, the test medically known as Per Vaginal (PV) Examination will no longer be necessary in all sexual assault cases.

NGOs said that there is nothing new in these guidelines. “It’s another piece of well written document. The problem lies with the implementation of these guidelines. Where is the mechanism to ensure that they will be enforced at the ground level?” said Yogesh Kumar, member with Association for Development (AFD).

“There have been complaints by the victims in the past but no action has been taken on them.” added Kumar, who filed the RTI.
In 2013, the Supreme Court had commented that the ‘two-finger’ test violates victim’s right to privacy.

The non-profit organisations have been demanding a blanket ban on the ‘two-finger’ test.
“It’s redundant as forensic evidences can be collected without conducting the ‘two-finger’ examination,” said Kumar. “It’s also difficult to justify the two-finger test in certain circumstances. Moreover the apex court has already declared that it’s a violation of privacy and dignity of a woman.”

In 2012, the Planning Commission’s working group headed by secretary of Women and Child Development Ministry had recommended abolition of the PV test to protect victims of sexual abuse from further mental trauma.