New Delhi: As many as 1,500 survivors of rape and their families submitted a letter to the apex court on Friday demanding cancellation of licenses of medical practitioners who still conduct the “humiliating two-finger test” despite a Supreme Court ban.
The letter was submitted by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan (RGA), a survivor-centric forum with more than 12,000 survivors of sexual violence and their families.
The two-finger test, to ascertain rape, was banned by the Supreme Court in 2013.
“The test was banned because not only does it violate a survivor's right to privacy, but also because it is unscientific and tends to be used as evidence in court to shame the survivor of previous sexual history. The forum has documented over 57 cases of such violations by medical practitioners,” the letter stated and demanded cancellation of licenses of all medical practitioners conducting it.
The RGA, in the letter, thanked the Supreme Court for the suo motu public interest litigation initiated by the court on the rise in cases of child rape, “corresponding lack of infrastructure and delay in probe and trial of these cases”.
Cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children and sex trafficking are actually cases of serial rape of children, according to the letter.
“However, data tracked in six states show that the police are registering these cases only under trafficking related laws and not under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, which has more stringent and adequate procedures for speedy trial and rehabilitation,” the letter said.
RGA latter also said that minors, who became pregnant after rape, struggle to receive permission from the court for abortion.
The forum requested the court to have in place due procedures to ensure examination and treatment for at least three months and separate proforma to be developed for the cases of child rape.
According to the campaign, over in 202 cases it has dealt with, the survivors have neither received any interim nor final compensation even after conviction of the accused in the case.
The letter also recommended that the court direct the centre to release funds to enable the appointment of professionally trained and experienced counsellors for dealing with such cases in all districts of India, within three months.
Ashif Shaikh, co-convener of the Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan said, “According to the official data from January to June 2019, of the 24,212 cases lodged, only 911 have completed the trial process. The Supreme Court of India is moving in the right direction by taking up this matter as suo moto PIL. Now is the time for all social and state actors to come together to end sexual violence against children in India.”