The “two finger test” used as a standard operating procedure for doctors to check for rape was banned by the High Court in a landmark verdict on Thursday.
A High Court bench comprised of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice AKM Shahidul Huq ruled that the tests have no scientific merit or evidential value, as they cannot prove rape conclusively.
In delivering its verdict on a writ petition filed five years ago, the High Court asked the government to issue a circular to hospitals and courts to strictly follow the new healthcare protocol introduced in 2017 in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines.
The High Court observed that during the examination of women who are raped, an all-female assemblage of a doctor, nurse, forensic expert, and a police officer have to be ensured. If necessary, a close female relative will also have to be present.
Furthermore, the court instructed Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals across the country to ensure that lawyers do not ask any humiliating questions to rape victims during trial proceedings.
The writ was filed in 2013 by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Ain o Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Naripokkho, Brac, and Manusher Jonno Foundation.
Following this, another High Court bench issued a rule questioning the viability and legality of the test.
The High Court had also asked the Health Ministry to form an expert committee to develop a guideline, which was realized last year.