Monday Jan 04 2021

LHC declares two-finger tests for sexual assault victims illegal

  • LHC has declared virginity tests for survivors of sexual violence illegal and unconstitutional
  • A 30-page judgment said there is no "medical basis or forensic value" of such tests in cases of sexual assault
  • Judgment added the tests "offend personal dignity of female victims"

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday declared virginity tests for examination of sexual assault survivors “illegal and against the Constitution of Pakistan."

A single bench led by Justice Ayesha A Malik announced the verdict in a set of petitions, filed in March and June 2020. by rights activists along with a PML-N lawmaker.

In the 30-page judgment, the judge wrote that the two-finger test (TFT) and hymen test have no medical basis or forensic value in cases of sexual violence and declared that virginity tests “offend the personal dignity of the female victim and therefore is against the right to life and right to dignity enshrined in Article 9 and 14 of the Constitution”.

Related350 rape cases reported in Lahore during the year

The verdict stated that virginity tests are "discriminatory against female victims as they are carried out on the basis of their gender, therefore, violating Article 25 (equality of citizens) of the Constitution."

The court has directed the federal and provincial governments to devise appropriate medico-legal protocols and guidelines along with standard operating procedures, in line with the international practice, that recognise and manage sensitively of the victims of sexual violence. 

“This includes regular training and awareness programmes so that all stakeholders understand that virginity tests have no clinical or forensic value.”

Read the full judgment here: