Doctors at Palampur Civil Hospital were slammed by the High Court in the state as the doctors examined the minor rape victim with a banned medical examination method.
A minor rape victim in Shimla was examined by a two-finger test, which is a banned test to examine a patient, by the doctors in Palampur Civil Hospital.
The court bench said that the banned two-finger test had been performed on the child victim, thereby violating the child’s privacy, dignity, and physical and mental privacy, apart from traumatizing the child.
The Court further observed that the child answered questions according to columns 4 and 5 of the medico-legal certificate. The Court said that answering according to the Medico-Legal Certificate by the child is self-discrimination against the child, and the medical professionals who are involved in this should be compensated legally.
The Court further observed that the doctors not only stopped with questions according to the medico-legal certificate but also performed a two-finger test, which is considered to be violating the rights of rape survivors.
The High Court Bench with Justices Satyen Vaideya and Tarlok Singh observed that the two-finger test in medical terminology, known as per vaginal examination, is strictly prohibited.
The Bench called the Health Secretary of Himachal Pradesh to appear in court and question him about the proforma in the Medico-Legal certificate. The health minister stated that the questions in the proforma were made by the doctors of the Civil Hospital in Palampur and such proformas are not issued anywhere in the state, so they were immediately withdrawn from the Civil Hospital.
After considering all of this, the High Court Bench ordered that Rs. 5 lakh be paid to the child victim as compensation for causing trauma and harassment. The court also ordered an inquiry against all the erring doctors who designed the proforma, including the doctors who were retired.
The Supreme Court mentions that any person who performs a two-finger test will be considered guilty of misconduct by the court. The Court further directed the removal of the test and mentioned conducting health workshops to communicate appropriate procedures to examine survivors of sexual assault and to ensure that the curriculum in medical school does not prescribe a two-finger test.
(Input from various sources)