Dhaka: Bangladesh’s High Court Sunday banned male doctors from examining rape victims to save them from embarrassment.
“You must ensure no male doctors take part in examining the victims of rape,” a two-judge bench said summoning the director general of health services.
The bench comprising judges Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and ABM Altaf Hossain issued the ruling while director general Deen Mohd Noorul Haque informed the court that the female doctors were already appointed in government facilities in compliance with a previous order by the same court.
The same bench passed the order in June last year ordering recruitment female doctors, nurses and staff at government hospitals for checking up rape victims.
It was responding to a newspaper report that women rape victims were subject to embarrassment as male doctors conduct their medical examinations.
The court at that time also directed the health services chief to inform the compliance report in subsequent three months but since no such report reached the bench, the court ordered the director general’s personal appearance.
The lawyer for the health services chief, however, attributed the delay on procedural reasons within the High Court’s Registrar office saying his client had submitted the report to the court through the registrar.
Rights groups have long been alleging that under the age old system the traumatised rape victims faced miseries during the examination by male investigators who quiz them about the incident.