The complete verdict of the High Court banning the two-finger test (TFT) method in the medical examination of rape victims has been released. The court has also issued eight directives to halt the use of the TFT.
On Wednesday, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (Blast), the petitioner organisation in the case, said that the full verdict has been published recently.
On 12 April 2018, the High Court bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice AKM Sahidul Haque declared the verdict in this regard.
In the eight directives, the High Court said the Two-Finger Test is not scientific, reliable and valid. It is rather violative of the fundamental rights of the survivors or victims of rape.
The court instructed that forensic experts, physicians, and investigation officers must avoid asking questions about the survivors' past sexual experiences during rape examinations and investigations.
In case of examination of deep-seated intra-vaginal injuries, the matter shall be referred to a gynaecologist for an expert opinion to identify the injuries or for medical reasons, as per the directives.
The HC further said the speculum examination shall not be compulsorily done in the case of children, or young girls when there is no history of penetration and visible injuries.
The government shall, if necessary, appoint adequate numbers of trained female medical personnel for the medical examination.
It further said the Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Damon Tribunals shall ensure that no lawyer asks any question to the survivors or victims of rape, which is degrading to their privacy, dignity and not relevant to the determination of the fact of rape.
Back in 2016, five forensic medical experts verbally expressed their views in the High Court, labelling this approach as "outdated and unethical."
On 8 October 2013, a writ petition was filed in this regard by various human rights organisations, including Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (Blast), Ain O Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, and Brac. Barrister Sara Hossain was in favour of the writ in the court.
Following the conclusive hearing on 12 April 2018, the court officially pronounced the verdict.