The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday declared virginity tests, including the two-finger test (TFT) for examination of sexual assault survivors “illegal and against the Constitution”, saying they had “no forensic value” in cases of sexual violence.
In a 30-page judgement, Justice Ayesha A. Malik wrote that the virginity test “offends the dignity of the female victim” and was contradictory to Article 9 and Article 14 of the Constitution, which are related to the security and dignity of a person.
The judgement declared that virginity tests are “discriminatory against the female victim as they are carried out on the basis of their gender [and] therefore offend Article 25 of the Constitution”.
The judge directed the federal and provincial governments to take necessary steps to “ensure that virginity tests are not carried out in medico-legal examination of the victims of rape and sexual abuse”.
She also directed the Punjab government to devise “appropriate medico-legal protocol and guidelines and standard operating procedures” according to established international practices to “recognise and manage sensitively the care of victims of sexual violence”.
“This includes regular training and awareness program so that all stakeholders understand that virginity tests have no clinical or forensic value,” Justice Malik wrote in the judgement.