Create SOP to update Potency Test to use blood sample, not semen; eliminate Two-Finger Test: Madras HC on POCSO cases

The Madras High Court has directed the authorities to come up with a standard operating procedure for conducting a Potency Test by merely using blood sample of an accused, saying science has advanced and there is no need for collecting semen sample. It also stressed on the need to ensure that the Two-Finger Test is discontinued.

A division bench comprising Justices N Anand Venkatesh and Sunder Mohan, which was specially constituted to monitor the implementation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, gave the directive in a recently passed order dated July 7, 2023.

The bench was also hearing a habeas corpus petition involving a minor girl and boy.

The bench said, “We want to ensure that the Two-Finger Test and the archaic Potency Test are discontinued. There shall be a direction to the Director General of Police to instruct the Inspector General of Police of various zones to collect data by going through medical reports prepared in all cases starting from January 1, 2023, involving sexual offence and see if any report given makes reference to the Two-Finger Test.

“If any such report is identified, it shall be collected and shall be brought to the notice of this court. On receipt of the same, we will pass further orders. Likewise, the Potency Test that is done in cases involving sexual offence, carries a mechanism of collecting sperm from the offender and this is a method of the past. Science has improved metes and bounds and it is possible to conduct this test by just collecting the blood sample.

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“Such advanced techniques are being followed across the world and we should also fall in line. Hence there will be a direction to the respondents (authorities) to come up with a standard operating procedure for conducting Potency Test by merely collecting the blood sample. On receipt of the report, we will pass further orders”.

The bench posted further hearing of the case to August 11.

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