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The prescribed tests to prove rape are so insensitive and intrusive, they add to the insult and pain that a rape victim has already gone through. To end this, a junior advocate had filed a PIL asking the Supreme Court to consider the constitutional validity of the two-finger test and prayers for the framing of guidelines for the medico-legal assistance for victims of rape.

The petitioner will also be seeking the framing and implementation of a uniform, gender-sensitive protocol for the examination, documentation and treatment of a sexual assault survivor across the country using the protocols and manual developed by them. Senior advocate Indira Jaising was appointed as amicus curie.

On Tuesday (August 1), the insensitivity of the Centre was apparent in its not bothering to file any specific reply to an application by the petitioner. What the centre did file was a report with some data regarding victim compensation scheme in states, safety measures in cabs etc., things pretty unrelated to the present case.

Angry at the Centre’s behavior, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, Prafulla C Pant and Deepak Gupta imposed a cost of Rs 25,000.

At the last hearing, Ms Jaising had submitted that there are 19 different issues that are to be dealt with in the present matter. She further submitted that the issue regarding finger testing is part heard and the court may first finish hearing the matter pertaining to the issue and then go to other issues such as utilisation of the Nirbhaya fund and sensitisation of prosecuting agencies. The court had agreed.

On Tuesday, the court ordered the Centre to file its report before the next date of hearing which will be in September.

India Legal Bureau

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