Rape is one of the most horrific crimes that may take place in any place. The fear of rape or sexual abuse pervades every woman’s existence. Rape is defined as any portion of the attacker’s body or an item used by the attacker penetrating the victim’s mouth, vagina, or anus without the victim’s consent. It’s heartbreaking to watch victims in such a situation. Our laws have traditionally been on the side of rape victims. The law defines such situations and makes adequate provisions to protect the victims’ privacy, sanctity, and chastity. Medical examination after rape is also one of the most terrifying things that rape victims have to face. The failure to be aware of all of one’s rights during a medical check-up might be fatal.
Why is a medical check-up necessary for rape victims?
A medical check-up is critical for rape victims. It is necessary to gather evidence and indicators of rape. As a result, it will be a crucial instrument for punishing the perpetrators in the courtroom dispute. It will also assist the victims in determining whether or not they have a deadly vaginal condition. The following items will most likely be examined during your medical examination:
- Extragenital organ damage
- Damage to the genitalia
- Psychiatric Signs and Symptoms
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
- Infection with HIV
Important Rights of the rape victim
There are two very important rights for rape victims:
- Free medical treatment in any hospital.
- There is no two-finger test.
Section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It includes “treatment of victims“. All hospitals, public and private, shall offer unfastened first-resource or scientific remedy to sufferers of any crime indexed in Section 357C of Cr.P.C. and Section 166B of I.P.C. of the Indian Penal Code and need to file the incident to the police as quickly as possible. It specifies the penalty for failing to treat a victim. If a hospital refuses to treat rape victims or demands money from them, the hospital faces a one-year prison sentence and a large fine. No doctor can perform two-finger tests.
Section 164A of the Code of Criminal Procedure addresses the medical examination of the victim of rape:
- When it’s far proposed to have the man or woman of the lady with whom rape is claimed or tried to had been dedicated or tried tested through a clinical professional for the duration of the research stage, such exam will be carried out through a registered clinical practitioner hired in a medical institution run through the authorities or a nearby authority, or withinside the absence of this type of practitioner, through some other registered clinical practitioner.
- The registered scientific practitioner to whom the sort of lady is despatched shall right away look at her and put together a document containing the subsequent information: the lady’s call and cope with, in addition to the call and cope with of the individual that introduced her; the lady’s age; the outline of cloth taken from the lady’s character for DNA profiling; marks of injury, if any; the lady’s standard intellectual condition; and different matters.
- In the document, the motives for every locating should receive in detail.
- The woman’s consent, or the consent of someone legally authorized to behave on her behalf, should be said explicitly withinside the document.
- The actual begin and cease instances of the exam should additionally be cited withinside the document.
- The document is to be despatched to the Magistrate cited in segment 173 as a part of the office work cited in clause (a) of Sub-Section (5) of that segment.
- Nothing on this segment renders it a felony to behaviour an exam without the woman or someone authorized to behave on her behalf consenting.
These provisions got support from the Supreme Court ruling in Lillu Alias Rajesh and Others versus the State of Haryana, 2013 (14) SCC 643. A juvenile woman turned into allegedly raped with the aid of using human beings in this instance. The physician claimed the victim turned into sexually recurring primarily based totally on the -finger test. The accused clarified that the intercourse turned voluntary. However, the session court rejected the respondent’s argument and found the accused guilty of rape. He appealed the decision to the Top Court, but the high court upheld the Sessions Court’s verdict. Then he moved to the US Supreme Court. According to the Supreme Court’s conclusions, the girl was 13 years and 9 months old on the day of the crime, so whether or not the victim gave her consent was irrelevant.
In this case, the Apex Court thoroughly examined the legality and necessity of the two-finger test and found it to be invalid. The courtroom docket writes, mentioning the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power from 1985, that “rape survivors are entitled to criminal treatments that don’t re-traumatize them or damage their physical or intellectual integrity and dignity.” To decide a woman’s privacy, dignity, chastity, reputation, and sanctity, in addition to the mental and emotional ache that a rape survivor experiences, the courtroom docket turns to many case laws.
- Narayan Amma (Kum) v. the State of Karnataka, 5 SCC 728 (1994).
- Uttar Pradesh State v. Munshi (AIR 2009 SC 370)
- Narendra Kumar State (NCT of Delhi) (AIR 2012 SC 2008)
- The State of Punjab Ramdev Singh (AIR 2004 SC 1290).
Finally, the judge stated, “In light of the foregoing, the two-finger test and its interpretation unquestionably infringe on the right of rape survivors to privacy, bodily and medical integrity, and dignity.” As a result, even supposing the document is positive, the presumption of consent can’t be primarily based totally completely on the consequences of this test. The two-finger test, according to the Supreme Court, is akin to a character assassination for rape survivors. Only the doctor has the authority to evaluate the wounds and any traces of rape and to document them in a medical report. He has no legal authority to inquire about the rape victim’s sexual habits.
Ministry of Health Guidelines
The Ministry of Health has established a set of guidelines in which all hospitals that collect samples for D.N.A. testing for forensic purposes is given a medico forensic kit. Name, residence, age, description of material taken for D.N.A. testing, marks of injury (if any), general mental status, or any other relevant and reasonable information for the particular case should be included in the hospital’s report. Most crucially, if a male doctor does medical exams, he must obtain your permission first. This permission will not be given in writing. He must inform you of how he will conduct your medical evaluation. In other words, he must explain the entire operation to you, including how he will examine the victims’ private regions and what samples he will gather. In no instance, however, will he be able to perform two-finger tests. If he does, he may be held responsible for the ad hoc “rape.” As a result, doctors must detail in their reports how they obtained the victim’s consent and how they obtained it. According to a new law passed by the Chhattisgarh government, only female doctors will assess rape victims.
Finally, rape is a horrific act for which everything that can be done to mitigate any psychological or physical harm, should be done. Laws exist, but their correct and effective application is what is required now. Such rights should be made known at all levels of society.
Author(s) Name: Jay Kumar Gupta (NMIMS School of Law, Bengaluru)