Doctors at Baptist Hospital had already examined the child

The decision of the Karnataka police to put the three-and-a-half-year-old child of French diplomat Pascal Mazurier, allegedly raped by him, through a “traumatic” second medical test is being criticised as both inhuman and unnecessary under the provisions of law.

The child, who had undergone a medical test at Collaborative Child Response Unit (CCRU) of the Bangalore Baptist Hospital, was sent off to the State-run Bowring Hospital to confirm the abuse on Friday.

Trained doctors

Shaibya Saldanha, associated with the CCRU, said the decision was “surprising” considering that Baptist doctors were particularly trained to evaluate abused children.

“The doctors and nurses here have gone through a three-month training programme conducted by UNICEF and the Department of Women and Child Welfare Department to handle sensitive cases like this,” Dr. Saldanha said. According to sources close to the child’s family, the second examination at Bowring had been traumatic for her. “She was examined in the labour ward, which would be an intimidating place for any child,” said the source.

SC judgment

Jagadish Reddy, a forensic expert and health activist, said the earlier procedural norm — that medical examination can only be conducted after the lodging of a police complaint and request by the police for examination — was done away with following a Supreme Court judgment in 2000 (State of Karnataka vs. Manjanna).

According to law

“Under the current amended laws, examination by a government hospital or a hospital recognised by the government is valid. What is of primary importance is the victim’s consent for the examination,” said Dr. Reddy. In this case, it would be the child’s mother, the victim being a minor.

Loss of evidence?

He said that a lot of evidence would have been lost by the time of the second examination because of the lapse of time.

“The first examination should have sufficed and to repeat the examination was totally inhuman.”