On Monday, the Lahore High Court declared virginity tests for examination of sexual assault survivors “illegal and against the Constitution of Pakistan.”
A single bench led by Justice Ayesha A Malik announced the verdict in a set of petitions, filed in March and June 2020 by rights activists along with a PML-N lawmaker.
In the 30-page judgment, the judge wrote that the two-finger test (TFT) and hymen test have no medical basis or forensic value in cases of sexual violence and declared that virginity tests “offend the personal dignity of the female victim and therefore is against the right to life and right to dignity enshrined in Article 9 and 14 of the Constitution”.
The verdict stated that virginity tests are “discriminatory against female victims as they are carried out on the basis of their gender, therefore, violating Article 25 (equality of citizens) of the Constitution.”
The court has directed the federal and provincial governments to devise appropriate medico-legal protocols and guidelines along with standard operating procedures, in line with the international practice, that recognise and manage sensitively of the victims of sexual violence.