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short not on client counseling- importance of medical exam of rape victims

                                  SHORT NOTE ON COUNSELLING 

Facts:

Nirmala is a rape Victim. She has got the FIR be registered against Sudhir for having committed the offence of rape on her. Police have asked Nirmala to accompany them in the civil hospital for her medical examination. Nirmala is frightened & is ignorant about her rights. 

IMPORTANCE OF MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF RAPE VICTIMS:

The offence of rape treated as the most heinous crime in the society that not only damages a women physically but also mental. Rape victim usually ostracise from the society when she is blameless. 

The medical examination of the rape victims or suspected sexual assault victims is critical because rape victims may exhibit pregnancy symptom, sexual transmitted diseases, genital or extragenital injuries or even psychological symptoms. If these tests are performed within a few hours of rape, they may reveal pre-existing infections rather than post-rape infections. Testing of alcohol or drug abuse is also essential because intoxication can discredit the victim in some cases. The victim of sexual assault should undergo a medical examination during criminal proceeding to increase the likelihood of identifying the offender. 

LEGAL ASPECTS:

The treatment of the rape victim are codified in the section 357C of Code of Criminal Procedure, read as all hospitals, public or private shall immediately provide the medical treatment, free of cost, to the victim and shall immediately inform the police of such incident. Hospitals failed to give immediate medical treatment or demand money or refuse to give treatment to the sexual assault victims shall be liable under section 166B of Indian Penal Code and punished with imprisonment up to 1 year or fine or both.

The law does not allow 2 finger test on rape victims which shall be punishable under section 164A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The 2 finger test and its interpretation violates the rights of the rape survivors to privacy, physical & mental integrity & dignity. In the case of Lillu Alias Rajesh V. State of Haryana (2013) court held that 2 finger test is violation of Rape survivor rights and should not be practice to protect the interest of the rape survivor.

The ministry of Health issued guidelines for the medical examination of the rape victims by introducing “Medico Forensic Kits” for collecting sample DNA & Medical Report consist of crucial information of the victims are as follow:

  • Name

  • Address 

  • Age

  • Description of material taken for DNA tests

  • Mark of injuries if any

  • General mental condition 

  • Other relevant material required 

The medical examination of the rape victim should be done by female practitioner. If in case male practitioner assigned for the medical examination he should take the valid consent from the victim and let her know about the process of the examination, taking sample or other required information. Recently Chattisgarh state government declare that it is medical examination of Rape victim must be conducted by the female practitioner. 



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