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TWO FINGER TEST

Author: Saima Hasan, II year ofB.B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from The NorthCap University Gurgaon


In 1979, an India lady was immigrating to United Kingdom to marry her fiancée who was British by birth. At that time spouses, can immigrate to UK without visa if they marry their fiancé within three months. This lady was stopped at airport by security, because they doubted, she is already married have children, proceeding with that patriarchal mindset they conducted virginity test. She protested against this a demand for it`s ban, irony was that even Indian High Commission was demanding that by saying this practice is not ethical and is not prevalent in anywhere. (Forgot India)


Every hour there are 18 women assaulted everywhere in India they are subjected to cruelty, molestation, dowry death, hate crimes. India witnesses 87 rape cases in a single day higher than any other crime against women[1]. In India rape is 4th most common crime in 2016-2022.[2] Determination of rape becomes at most important various test and procedure are followed to determine the validity of rape, but most debated is Two Finger Test or Virginity Test or Per Vaginum.


Two finger test is carried out by medical practioner to determine whether women is sexually active. In other words, it is the test which is performed to determine whether women are habitual to sexual intercourse. This test does not have any scientific backing, WHO in their handbook mentions, “There is no place of Virginity (Two Finger Test) testing.”In 2004, Supreme Court observed that determination of women sexual habit is irrelevant according to section 375. Justice Verma Committee also in it`s report suggested that virginity or two finger tests should be banned through out inda as it is immoral and infringes the privacy of women.


A recent uproar is witnessed when Supreme Court held to ban Two Finger Test. “This court has time and again deprecated the use of two finger test in cases alleging rape and sexual assault. The so-called test has no scientific basis. It instead re-victimizes and re-traumatizes women. The two-finger test must not be conducted.... The test is based on an incorrect assumption thatthat a sexually active woman cannot be raped. Nothing can be further from the truth.”[3] The bench observed that women testimony does not depend upon her past sexual history it is derogatory and highlights patriarchal mindset which is impacting her privacy and judging her by her nature of things at the time when she is the victim.[4] Court directed Union Ministry of Health to issue circulars in every medical college, institutions and police stations directing them to restrict using two finger test on rape survivor.[5]


It may be late but the impact may be sudden, restricting this will modify the our system to it`s full efficiency.

[1] The Wire. [2] National Crime Record Bureau, Report 2022 [3] State of Jharkhand v Shailendra Kumar Rai (SC) 890 [4] Live Law, 30th October 2022*/8 [5] Lillu v State of Haryana 2013 SCC 14 (643)

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