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WHAT DID THE COURT SAY?

  • In Sr. Sephy v. CBI & Ors., the Delhi HC held that the virginity test of Sister Sephy, an accused in the 1992 Sr. Abhaya murder case is unconstitutional. 
  • A Single Judge Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma called it to be a violation of fundamental rights under Article 21 of Constitution of India. 
  • The Ld. Court also allowed the petitioner to seek compensation for violation of her fundamental right upon completion of the case.

WHAT IS THE CASE ABOUT? 

  • In this case, a writ petition was filed by Sister Sephy in 2009 challenging the virginity test conducted on her in relation to the 1992 Sr. Abhaya Murder case.
  • In 2020, the petitioner was found guilty for the murder of Sister Abhaya.
  • The CBI Court placed reliance on the virginity test reports to corroborate its finding that the murder was a cover-up to hide the secret relationship of the petitioner and another accused Father Kottoor.

CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES:

  • The petitioner contended that the virginity test which was conducted on her was a violation of her dignity and human rights. 
  • The respondent contended that the Delhi High Court has no territorial jurisdiction to hear this case.

OBSERVATION OF THE COURT AND DECISION:

  • The Ld. Court noted that the virginity test was a clear violation of not only the human rights of the petitioner but also her fundamental rights.
  • The Court rejected the contentions raised by the defendants challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the Court on this case and observed that some part of the cause of action took place in the national capital which gives it the authority to hear this case.
  • Accordingly, the Court allowed the petitioner to claim compensation from the authorities.

What do you think about the decision of the Court? Let us know in the comments section below!

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