Potency test result of Jubilee Hills gangrape accused awaited

Potency test must be conducted in rape cases, say advocates

Hyderabad: Advocates specialising in criminal law said a potency test was required in all rape cases. Experts, however, recommend against it, saying it was not entirely effective and that the test should be conducted only when an accused claims sexual impotence.

Explaining the tests for men and women, Dr Upendra Kumar, a urologist, said there were several gadgets and methods used for the test on men while when it came to women, psychological or pathological aspects came into play, along with a detailed questionnaire about their menstrual health among other things.

“For males, we have something called a combined intracavernous injection and stimulation test or CIS test, wherein an injection is administered on the penis to check for erection. There are five types of erections. Then there is penile doppler test, which enables characterisation of arterial and venous blood flow within the erect penis,” Dr Kumar said.

“The natural test, nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test, which is conducted on several nights by putting tapes onto the penis before the person sleeps to obtain an accurate indication of erection that normally occurs during the alpha phase of sleep. We also use a device that measures the strength of an erection,” explained Dr Kumar.

When it came to females, doctors use a questionnaire which addresses depression, anxiety and other psychological factors which affect potency, he said. “Women also tend to have hormonal factors, menopause etc. so, a lot of questions are needed to ascertain things. One of the main focuses is also on their libido and it is all mostly psychological or pathological,” added the doctor.

Speaking specifically about juveniles in the age group of 15-18, urologists said they were either given a Viagra or asked to stimulate the organ manually to check and measure the erection. “We do not use any injection or such methods on children. Usually, we do not suspect any problem in children when it comes to erections, while some may have hormonal issues like less testosterone etc,” he concluded.

An advocate from the Nampally criminal court, P. Vasudev, said in all the cases booked under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC, a potency test must be conducted. “It is done so that in the future, the accused should not say he is impotent. A medical board is assigned with a urologist, who conducts these tests which are mandatory for 376 IPC offences. The results and reports are shared by the doctors and a certificate is given during the prosecution. The doctor also comes and gives the evidence in the court during trial,” said the advocate.

Dr Anjali Kumari, a medical expert, said the potency test violated the privacy of the individual. “The medico-legal examination of a person should be done by only collection of trace evidence from the crime scene. The potency test should be conducted only if the person has claimed impotence as the test could be normal in an impotent person and may prove unreliable in determining potency,” she said.

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