The Central Information Commission has asked Delhi government to suo moto make public whether the controversial two-finger test to determine rape has been banned in the national capital after the health department failed to spell out a clear policy on it.
The matter reached Central Information Commission after an applicant said his query on the policy of Delhi Health Department on the test has not yielded any clear result.
“It is clear from the reply of the PIO that they have issued no circulars and there was no prohibition of PV test. The PIO claimed that medical officers have been sensitised. When applicant sought inspection, the PIO says ‘not applicable’. The Commission finds it no responsible response,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.
He said it is a right of survivor/victim to get medical treatment and support, and any test or practice which violates her right to privacy and other rights cannot be conducted.
Sridhar quoted a Supreme Court order which said, “Undoubtedly, the two-finger test and its interpretation violate the right of rape survivors to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity. Thus, this test, even if the report is affirmative, cannot ipso facto, be given rise to presumption of consent.”
“Medical procedures should not be carried out in a manner that constitutes cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and health should be of paramount consideration while dealing with gender-based violence. The State is under an obligation to make such services available to survivors of sexual violence,” Acharyulu quoted from the apex court order.
The Commissioner directed the health department to inform the reasons under mandatory disclosure policy as per section four of RTI Act saying this is an important policy decision the public authority is expected to take.
“It is also the duty of Directorate of Health and Family Welfare to disclose such a significant policy for the welfare of the women in public interest,” he said while ordering the department to bring files related to the issue before it.