Nagpur: The Bombay High Court has directed
Maharashtra Government to implement a new set of rules related
to forensic medical examination of sexually assaulted victims.
A Nagpur bench of the HC comprising Justices Bhushan
Dharmadhikari and P D Kode yesterday asked the Government to
circulate the new guidelines, prepared by Indrajit Khandekar,
a forensic medicine expert, to all hospitals and police
stations, and file a compliance report after eight weeks.
The direction was given on a PIL filed on the basis of
a report by Khandekar, Assistant Professor in Department of
Forensic Medicine at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical
Sciences (MGIMS), Sewagram.
The report is titled `Pitiable & Horrendous Quality of
Forensic Medical Examination of Sexually Assaulted Victims`.
The PIL was filed by Chairperson of Child Welfare Committee
(Nagpur) Ranjana Pardhi and a local lawyer, Vijay Patil.
Khandekar-suggested guidelines, running into seven
pages, are a vast improvement over the Government`s three-page
proforma issued earlier on the HC`s orders related to medical
exam of rape victims and instruction manual in such matters.
The new rules, among others, will have a provision for
forensic medical examination even if the victims report the
matter on their own to hospital without any police report.
The norms will do away with the unscientific and
heavily criticised finger test which was used by the doctors
to opine whether the girl is habituated to sexual intercourse
or not, according to the PIL.
This will definitely plug the loopholes present in
current system and help to avoid miscarriage of justice and
human rights violation, it said. The petitioners had claimed
that rapists often get acquitted for lack of evidence due to
incorrect reports filed by medical officials.