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CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

(Room No.315, B-Wing, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi 110 066)

Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu (Madabhushi Sridhar)


Information Commissioner

CIC/SA/A/2014/000986

Yogesh Kumar v.PIO, Family & Welfare Dept.


Important Dates and time taken:

RTI: 17.02.2014

Reply: 04.03.2014

Time: 17 days

FAA: 11.03.2014

FAO: 15.04.2014

Time: 34 days

SA: 01.07.2014

Hearing: 26.3.2015

Decision: 31-3-2015

Result:

Closed

1. Appellant sought to know whether PV test (aka -two finger test) on rape
victims is banned or not. After First Appellate Authority ordered
disclosure, the PIO, Dr. Lily Gangmei (Directorate of Health Services)
stated that an advisory was issued on 28.5.2014 to the doctors in general
dissuading them from resorting to PV test when not medically needed.
2. Commission vide even order dt 21.1.2015 directed as under:
28. The Commission directs the PIO of Directorate of Health Services to
attend the hearing on 2 nd March, 2015 with concerned files and response
of the directorate on following points:
(a)

whether they have taken any decision or not in regard to


banning of two finger test on victims of sexual assault,

(b)

if not what are the reasons for not taking any decision,

(c)

what actions are available if their guidelines are not


followed,

(d)

when guidelines are specifically dissuading doctors from


conducting this notorious test, why the medical text books
are not revised accordingly, etc.

This is an important policy decision the public authority is expected to


take, and inform the reasons under mandatory disclosure policy as per
section 4 of RTI Act. It is also the duty of Directorate of Health &
Family Welfare to disclose such a significant policy for the welfare of
the women in public interest.
3. Appeal was closed but posted for compliance on 26 th March 2015.
Appellant claimed non-compliance as no document was received.
4. On 26.3.2015, Ms. Priyanka Mishra appeared on behalf of appellant, Mr.
Ashok Kumar, Ms. Sushma Singh, Deputy Secretary, Dr. Puneeta Mahajan
(H & FW dept), Dr. Lily Gangmei, (PIO, Dept of Health Services) were
present from respondents.
5. The First Appellate Authority has ordered the Director DHS on 15 th April
2014 to provide the information within 20 days. The Advisory document
was made available to Dr R N Das on 12th May 2014, which he should
have forwarded to PIO so that the PIO complied with the order of FAA. It
was not done. Only after the CIC ordered on 21 st January 2015, Dr. R. N.
Das MSMH sent on 11th February 2015, a copy of advisory on tests to be
conducted on rape victims to the PIO. The Commission noticed that Dr. R.
N. Das has given this report to PIO, Dr. Lily Gangmei to be given to
appellant, ten months after the order of FAO dated 15.4.2014. It is sad to
note that, while the Advisory note was handed over to Dr R N Das on
12.5.2014, he chose to share it with the PIO only on 11 th February 2015.
The Commission finds Mr Das has obstructed the information though he
has it under his control and directs Mr. Das to show cause why maximum
penalty cannot be imposed against him for this long delay in furnishing
information to the PIO, within three weeks from the date of receipt of this
order.
6. However without any further delay the PIO gave the information on the
same day i.e., 11.2.2015 and also offered inspection of files on 20 th Feb
2015 to the appellant.

7. Expert gynaecologist Dr. Puneeta Mahajan represented that there was a


misconception among the general public and media that Per Vaginal test
was being conducted on all rape victims routinely.
8. First paragraph of the advisory stated: It is evident from the media
reports that a misconception exists in the minds of the general public,
legal experts and the judicial courts that finger test is conducted by
doctors to judge if the rape victim is habituated to sexual intercourse.
9. Third paragraph says: what has been alluded to as Finger Test by the
doctor on a rape victim in the media and legal circles is simply the per
vaginal examination done by the doctor examining the victim by inserting
one finger or two fingers in the vagina of victim. It is unfortunate that the
term finger test has gained considerable coinage.
10.
Under point 3.3 the advisory has clarified that PV examination is
done for the purposes of evaluating condition of genital organs, document
injuries, possible infection to institute therapeutic measures and to collect
samples, and not to judge if the woman under examination is habituated
11.

to sexual intercourse.
In point 3.6 of advisory quotes WHO guidelines and stated ...PV
examination should be performed only if medically indicates certain

12.

circumstances (listed)
Under point 3.10 the advisory stated the examination should be
conducted for medical reasons only and never to judge the habituation of
the survivor to sexual intercourse (as being wrongly perceived in the
media). The Advisory instructs doctors: to refrain from recording how
many fingers can or cannot be inserted during these gynaecological
examinations, doctors should refrain from comments both verbal and

13.

written like rape has occurred/not occurred or likely/unlikely, etc.


Generally the Doctors are told in Advisory that comfort of the
survivor and allaying her apprehension is of paramount importance,
survivor must be counselled and made aware of importance of medical
examination. Under Point 9.4 it is stated: Although it is conceded that
per vaginal, per speculum bimanual examination may not be necessary
in all the cases, physicians examining such cases ultimately have a duty to
do all in the best interests of their patients, only they have to be judicious

14.

and take informed consent before they perform these procedures.


The Advisory has finally concluded that it cannot be recommended
that physicians be made to function under the constraint of a complete

ban of these essential steps of internal examination of a sexual assault


survivor, which may not only prove detrimental to her health but also
result in injustice.
15.
The Advisory was prepared by Dr Gita Radhakrishnan, DirectorProfessor & HOD Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College of
Medical Sciences, Dr Amita Saxena, HOD, Obstetrics and Gynaecology &
MS, Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, Dr Sreenivas, Associate Professor
16.

Forensic Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College.


Dr. Puneeta Mahajan stated that in some cases the tests were
necessary to achieve conviction of rape accused and also for the purpose

of treatment to the victim.


17.
The Commission, while noting that sufficient information was
provided, directs the respondent public authority to see that this advisory
was made available to doctors/physicians entrusted with the medical
examination of survivors of sexual assault, NGOs and prepare a note in
simple English explaining medial terms in simple language to remove the
misunderstandings about these tests among the media, legal experts and
general public. It also directs the advisory to include an instruction to the
doctors to explain the purpose and need in language of the victim or their
relatives before conducting such test only for medical purposes and not to
18.

establish the conduct of victim.


With the above observations, the appeal is closed.

(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)


Information Commissioner
Authenticated true copy

(Babu Lal)
Dy. Registrar

Address of the parties


1.

The CPIO
Departement of Health and Family welfare,
Govt. of NCT of Delhi, 9 level, A-wing,
Delhi Secretariat, New Delhi.

2.

Sh. Yogesh Kumar


Room No. 39, 2nd floor,
Shakarpur Police Station,
Complex, Ramesh Park, Pusta Road,
Delhi-110092