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Sex change: HC warns boy not to threaten suicide

The Bombay high court today warned Bhidan Barua, 21-year-old student from Guwahati, who wants to undergo sex change operation, that he cannot use pressure tactics and threaten to commit suicide unless his petition was heard and orders passed immediately.

mumbai Updated: May 03, 2012 16:52 IST

The Bombay high court on Thursday warned Bhidan Barua, 21-year-old student from Guwahati, who wants to undergo sex change operation, that he cannot use pressure tactics and threaten to commit suicide unless his petition was heard and orders passed immediately.

The court summoned Bhidan's lawyer Ejaz Naqvi after the student wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of the Bombay high court and other authorities threatening to commit suicide if his petition was not heard immediately.

In the petition, Bhidan, who feels he is a woman trapped in man's body, has urged the court to restrain his parents from prohibiting him to undergo sex change operation.

Following the summons from the court, Naqvi appeared before Justices SJ Vazifdar and AR Joshi.

"Your client cannot indulge in such pressure tactics and threaten the court. As a lawyer you should understand the court's difficulties also," Justice Vazifdar said.

The court had on Wednesday posted the matter for hearing on May 7. Refusing to hear the matter before that, the court told Naqvi that the petition would be heard on May 7 only.

Bhidan, in his letter, had also said that since his parents have blocked his bank accounts he does not have money for lawyer fees.

On this, the judge said if needed the court would appoint an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist him.

Bhidan had written letters to Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of Bombay high court and National Human Rights Commission urging them to intervene and grant him a favourable order so that he could undergo the sex change surgery or else he will commit suicide.

Bidhan, who likes to call himself Swati, alleged that his parents had thwarted the sex reassignment surgery which was to be performed at Saifee hospital here on April 17.

He claimed his parents threatened doctors who had refused to perform the operation unless the High Court gives a go ahead.

Bhidan had contended in his application that he is female trapped in a male body and wants to marry a flight lieutenant in the Indian Air Force.

In the letters to the Chief Justice of India and other authorities, Bhidan wrote, "I was due to undergo sex change surgery for which I left my job but my parents have blocked my bank account. I have no money to pay for the operation fees."

"For the last two weeks, I am running from door to door seeking justice but the court does not have time to hear me.

I do not have any money for my food, lodging. So I am finally requesting the court to pass an immediate order against my family or grant me an order for an authorised suicide".

"I will kill myself if I do not get an order for my surgery by this evening. For my suicide, the Chief Justice of the Bombay high court will be responsible", wrote Bhidan and signed it under his name.

Bhidan contended that he realised early in life that he was born in the wrong sex and preferred to dress like girls. This angered his parents who ill-treated him and beat him up, he alleged.

Bhidan said it was in standard 7th that he learnt through the internet that medical science could provide a remedy to his problem through a sex change procedure and he decided to go for it. He did odd jobs after school hours to earn money for the operation which would cost him anywhere between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.

On March 2, Bhidan underwent a psychiatric test in Guwahati to check whether he was fit enough to undergo such a procedure. As the result was positive, he ran away from home on March 31 and came to Mumbai where he stayed with a cousin.

However, his father Supti Ranjan Barua traced him to Mumbai.