Transgenders have right to wander about or associate with likeminded people and cannot be compelled to stay at parental home: Kerala HC

“You need to be the change, you aspire to be”. Today the Honourable High Court of Kerala has walked the talk and recognised the rights of transpersons. “I am a Woman” says the man and world wonders. The Kerala High Court, today, did not remain wonder struck when the issue of gender determination of a human came up for consideration.

For the first time in the history of India a Constitutional Court has recognised the concept of “transperson”, while deciding habeas corpus petition of a transperson who claimed “I am not what I am”, like “Lago”, the villain in the Shakespeare’s play “Othello”. The Court observed,

It is abundantly clear therefore that the detenu is undergoing an identity crisis which reminds us of the oft quoted words of Iago the villain in the Shakespeare’s play ‘Othello’: ‘I am not what I am.’

The Division Bench of the Kerala High Court comprising of Justice V. Chitambaresh and Justice K.P. Jyothindranath today revolted against all conventions to recognise the liberty and dignity of a transperson according to his/her own wishes. The Judgment will be the beacon light for the numerous who are still struggling to get the recognition of our society.

The Court held,

The self identification of the detenu as a transgender is clearly expressed by speech, mannerism, clothing etc. which we noticed during our interaction and fortified by the medical report. The Supreme Court has held that the transgenders are neither male nor female who however fall within the expression ‘person’ entitled to all rights recognized by law.

The Court further added,

The freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India takes within its sweep the right of a person to live as a transgender……The detenu has undoubtedly the right to wander about or
associate with likeminded people and cannot be compelled to be at his parental home as wished by the petitioner who is before us with folded hands and tearful eyes.

It seems the time is ripe for all of us start the change within, in our attitude towards transgenders and transpersons and the Mollywood is also coming up with Jayasurya starrer “Njan Marykutty” directed by Ranjith Sankar.

Advocate Siji Antony, appeared for the petitioner and the detenu was represented by A.K. Maya Krishnan. Senior Government Pleader, K. B. Ramanand represented the State.

Read the judgment below:



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