The Bangladesh High Court on Thursday banned the two-finger test that doctors conduct to confirm rape, reported The Dhaka Tribune. In a landmark verdict, Justices Gobinda Chandra Tagore and AKM Shahidul Huq said the test has no scientific or legal merit as it cannot prove the crime conclusively.
The court was hearing a writ petition filed by six human rights organisations in 2013. After the verdict, the bench asked the government to issue a circular to hospitals and courts asking them to follow the new healthcare protocol introduced in 2017 in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization.
The High Court said the complainant must be examined by an all-women team comprising a doctor, nurse, forensic expert and police officer. It added that a close female relative will also have to be present. It also asked the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals across the country to ensure that lawyers do not ask victims any humiliating questions during court hearings.
The two-finger test is used to determine if a woman is habituated to sexual intercourse by checking whether her vaginal opening is narrow or broad. In 2013, the Indian Supreme Court had banned the test. “Rape survivors are also entitled to medical procedures conducted in a manner that respects their right to consent,” the court had said.