Con­sider ac­com­mo­dat­ing trans­gen­der of­fi­cer: HC

DNA (Delhi) - - DELHI - Richa Banka richa.banka@dnain­

A trans­gen­der Navy of­fi­cer, who was ousted out of ser­vice for un­der­go­ing a sex change op­er­a­tion, on Mon­day knocked the doors of the Delhi High Court which asked the Cen­tre to con­sider his plight and ac­com­mo­date him for some al­ter­na­tive stream.

A bench of Jus­tices GS Sis­tani and V Kameswar Rao asked the Cen­tre to think over the is­sue and come out with a so­lu­tion con­sid­er­ing the present case as“out of the box”.

“This falls in a spe­cial do­main. Imag­ine if she had sup­pressed the in­for­ma­tion, then it would have been dan­ger­ous,” the bench said, ad­ding, that she can be pe­nalised for in­dis­ci­pline but some­thing could be done to ac­com­mo­date her.

Ap­pear­ing for the Cen­tre, Ad­di­tional So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral San­jay Jain said that this is a mat­ter of pol­icy de­ci­sion and the Navy is the best placed to see if they can ac­com­mo­date the fe­male sailor.

“Here the ques­tion is not about trans­gen­ders. Its a case of whether a woman can con­tinue as a sailor,” Jain said.

The court was hear­ing the pe­ti­tion filed by the trans­gen­der sailor posted on­board INS Ek­sila at Visakha­p­at­nam. It said that the pe­ti­tioner can give up his claim for the job of a sailor and may ac­cept a cler­i­cal po­si­tion so that the fam­ily, com­pris­ing aged par­ents, the in­di­vid­ual’s wife, and child, need not suf­fer.

While hear­ing the plea, where the sailor had chal­lenged an or­der of Oc­to­ber 6, the bench said, “the mind­set should change. In to­day’s sit­u­a­tion, a med­i­cal con­di­tion like this can­not be sup­pressed.”

ASJ Jain in­formed the court that the pe­ti­tioner has a his­tory of in­dis­ci­pline and at sev­eral in­stances, had been ab­sent from duty with­out prior in­for­ma­tion. Hence, giv­ing an al­ter­na­tive work would block a seat.

The court, while stat­ing that they would not get into the ter­ri­tory of the Navy, but ask them to con­sider the sit­u­a­tion.

In her plea, the pe­ti­tioner had claimed that she was suf­fer­ing from gen­der iden­tity is­sues since 2011 and when she told her par­ents, they forced her to marry a woman.

Delhi High Court

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