Mumbai: Maharashtra government has come out with a manual for doctors on the examination of the victims of sexual assault, which, among other things, prohibits the infamous `finger test`.
The conventional finger test of sexual assault victims is "a degrading procedure, crude medically and scientifically irrelevant", the manual says, stating that it should not be followed, as the information about the past sexual conduct has been considered irrelevant by the courts in several cases.
Further, the doctor should not identify the victim as habituated to sexual intercourse or otherwise, it says. The manual was published on Friday.
Absence of injuries on the body and private parts does not rule out the commission of the offence, as injuries are not always a determining factor, according to the manual.
Doctors often ask "dry and direct questions" to the victim and they should keep in mind that sexual assault is a social stigma and a traumatising experience, it says, adding doctors should be sensitive and compassionate while eliciting the information about medical, surgical and obstetric (child-birth related) history of the victim.
While eliciting the information or `history`, no third person, including the police, should be present, it adds.
According to the government resolution which published this manual, the purpose was to help the investigation of sexual assaults and administration of justice.