The court’s ruling was based on a medical board’s report, which stated Aashiq, born Jaya Elizabeth Ninan, had turned a man after three rounds of surgeries in the Thailand capital.
Dismissing the contention of state gazette authorities that there was no provision to notify sex change in official records, justice Nair ruled that Aashiq be allowed to change his gender in his passport and other documents. The court gave government two months to comply.
“After the gazette notification, he will move the authorities concerned to change his gender in passport, driving licence and educational certificates,” said Aashiq’s counsel N Ashok Kumar. He termed it a landmark judgment and added, “This will help many people who face discrimination after sex-change surgeries.”
Aashiq had moved the court on October 12 because was unable to fly to Bangkok on his passport for his fourth and final surgery. After the surgeries, Aashiq’s body has become masculine and he sports a moustache, but his passport still carries a woman’s photo — taken from his days as one.
About six months ago, confused immigration authorities had prevented the small-time businessman of Thiruvalla in central Kerala from boarding a flight to Bangkok. Subsequently, Aashiq had approached the local tehsildar for a certificate to publish his gender change in government gazette, but was turned down.