Supreme Court on 31-10-2022 decided to impose a ban on the two-finger test, which is at times performed on survivors of rape and sexual assault. The apex court also warned that anyone performing this test will be held guilty of misconduct.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said that it is regrettable that the two-finger test is still performed on rape victims. The call to ban the test was made during a hearing to restore the conviction in a rape case.

The apex court bench said, "This court has time and again deprecated the use of two finger test in cases alleging rape or sexual assault. The so-called test has no scientific basis and is an invasive method of examining rape survivors.”

While reading the judgment, Justice Chandrachud further added, “It instead re-victimises and re-traumatises women. The two-finger test must not be conducted.” He also noted the patriarchal connotation associated with the test.

The two-finger test was banned by the Supreme Court today as “it is based on an incorrect assumption that a sexually active woman cannot be raped. Nothing can be further from the truth.” The court also said that it promotes the notion that the woman with the rape allegation cannot be believed simply because she is sexually active.

What is a two-finger test, performed on rape survivors?

The two-finger test is also often called the virginity test and is aimed at checking the laxity of the vaginal muscles of a woman, primarily to check if she is sexually active or not. This test is has been performed on rape survivors to “confirm” their allegations.

The two-finger test is performed by a doctor, who inserts two fingers into the vaginal canal of the rape survivor to check the laxity of her muscles and determine if she has been sexually active or not. This test is also done to check if the woman’s hymen is intact.

This test was mostly practiced in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India before it got banned by the governments, though some authorities still maintained its validity before the Supreme Court orders.