Sister Abhaya murder case: Virginity test unconstitutional, says Delhi HC on convicted nun’s plea

Representative Image / File Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Virginity test conducted on Sister Sephy, a culprit in the 1992 Sister Abhaya murder case, is unconstitutional, ruled Delhi High Court while adjudicating the plea submitted by the convicted nun. Whether accused or victim, there is no justification for conducting the virginity test, the court noted.

Justice SK Sharma in the ruling noted that the virginity test should not be conducted in any scenario as it violates the privacy and dignity of a citizen.

According to the court, the accused after completing the criminal proceedings in the case has the right to pursue a lawsuit against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for defamation and human rights violation.

A virginity test was conducted on convict Sister Sephy, by CBI's intervention, while she was accused in the Sister Abhaya murder case. Sephy had approached the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against it. However, it dismissed the complaint. She moved a plea against both the virginity test and HRC in 2009. The present ruling is on that.

The Supreme Court has earlier asked the union and state governments to take measures to stop the “two finger test” among the sexual assault victims.

"It is unfortunate that the practice is still prevalent even today… The procedure which tests vaginal laxity is an upfront on women's dignity. It cannot be said that a sexually active woman cannot be raped," a bench of justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli bench said.

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