Lahore HC Says ‘Two-Finger Tests’ Unlawful, Quotes Indian Verdicts
The so-called “virginity test” such as the ‘two-finger test’ and the hymen test were declared unconstitutional.
The so-called "virginity test", better known as the 'two-finger test' and the hymen test, carried out on survivors of rape and sexual assault was declared unconstitutional by the Lahore High Court on Monday, 4 January.
According to Live Law, Justice Ayesha A Malik said that the practice was discriminatory and against right to live.
“The virginity test by its very nature is invasive and an infringement on the privacy of a woman to her body. It is a blatant violation of the dignity of a woman. The conclusion drawn from these tests about a woman’s sexual history and character is a direct attack on her dignity and leads to adverse effects on the social and cultural standing of a victim.”Justice Ayesha A Malik
'No Scientific Basis': Indian Judgments Referred
The Lahore HC referred a judgment by the Indian Supreme Court and also to two others by Allahabad and Gujarat High Courts, while delivering their own verdict.
Referring to Rajesh and another versus State of Haryana verdict by the Indian apex court, the Lahore court said that it not only violates privacy – both physical and mental – but also is not a definite indicator of sexual violence.
“These courts have all held that there is no scientific or medical basis to carry out virginity testing in the form of ‘two finger test’ or to rely on the status of the hymen whether it is torn or intact as it has no relevance to the investigation into the incident of rape or sexual abuse,” the court observed.
'Make Sure Practice Does Not Continue'
In 2014, after India's apex court declared that such a test was violative of fundamental rights, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued guidelines for medico-legal care for survivors of sexual violence.
The Lahore HC too, sought that the government make a "concerted effort" to ensure that the two-finger test does not continue to be in use.
“Change can only be brought about when the people responsible for the change understand and acknowledge the reasons for changing old practices which no longer find any justification. Merely documenting change and not implementing change does not mean that the Federation or the Provincial Government have acted in accordance with the Constitution, the law and international obligations. Hence a concerted effort must be made so as to ensure that virginity tests are stopped in totality,” the judgment said.
(With inputs from LiveLaw)
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