Who is Anukathir Surya, an IRS officer who made history with a gender change? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Who is Anukathir Surya, an IRS officer who made history with a gender change?

Jul 10, 2024 02:11 PM IST

Anukathir Surya (M Anusuya), who serves as Joint Commissioner, received approval from the Union Finance Ministry to change gender from female to male.

A Telangana cadre Indian Revenue Service Officer made history by obtaining approval from the Union ministry of finance to change gender from female to male. This is the first time such a thing has occurred within the Indian civil services.

Hyderabad: IRS officer M Anukathir Surya who got his name and gender changed in official records. (LinkedIn/@anukathir-surya-m)
Hyderabad: IRS officer M Anukathir Surya who got his name and gender changed in official records. (LinkedIn/@anukathir-surya-m)

According to media reports, the order from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Department of Revenue said, “The request of M Anusuya has been considered. Henceforth, the officer will be recognised as ‘Mr M Anukathir Surya’ in all official records.”

Who is Anukathir Surya?

  1. Anukathir Surya began his career as an assistant commissioner in Tamil Nadu's Chennai in December 2013.
  2. He was promoted to the rank of deputy commissioner in 2018 and last year, he moved to his current posting in Telangana's Hyderabad.
  3. Surya holds a bachelor's degree in electronics and communication from the Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai. He completed a PG Diploma in Cyber Law and Cyber Forensics from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal, in 2023.
  4. Recently, Surya, formerly known as M Anusuya, who serves as Joint Commissioner in the office of the Chief Commissioner (Authorised Representative) of the Customs Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in Hyderabad, filed a request to change his name to M Anukathir Surya and his gender from female to male.

What did the Supreme Court say in NALSA case?

The development follows nearly a decade after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) case, where it recognised the third gender and emphasised that gender identity is a “personal choice”.

The court said, “There is no justification to deny basic human rights to transgender individuals... The Constitution has fulfilled its obligation to grant rights to transgender persons. Now, it is incumbent upon us to recognise and interpret the Constitution to ensure a dignified life for them. This begins with recognising transgender individuals as a third gender.”

The court further asserted, “If a person undergoes sex reassignment surgery in accordance with their gender identity, facilitated by medical advancements and ethical standards, and there are no legal restrictions, there should be no impediment—legal or otherwise—in recognizing their gender identity based on their affirmed sex post-surgery.”

“For these reasons, we believe that even in the absence of specific statutory provisions, individuals have a constitutional right to be recognised as male or female after undergoing sex reassignment surgery, aligning their physical form with their gender characteristics,” it added.

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