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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Bombay HC asks Maharashtra woman constable, who wants leave undergo sex surgery, to approach state tribunal

The HC bench refused to take up the matter for hearing and asked the woman police constable to approach Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal

mumbai Updated: Nov 27, 2017 21:59 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Lalita Salve at the Bombay high court.
Lalita Salve at the Bombay high court.(Satish Bate/HT)

The Bombay high court on Monday asked a 28-year-old woman police constable from Beed district, who has sought a month’s leave to undergo a sex-change surgery, to approach the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) for relief. 

Lalita Salve, from Rajegaon in Beed district, approached the high court on Thursday, seeking a month’s leave for gender reassignment surgery. Her counsel, Ejaj Naqvi, on Monday mentioned the petition for urgent hearing before a division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice Bhartai Dangre. 

The bench, however, refused to take up the matter for hearing. Instead, it asked the woman police constable to approach MAT for the relief as the issue falls within the ambit of the tribunal. 

According to Salve’s petition, she completed her BA in literature from Lokmanya Tilak College at Wadvani in Beed district and joined the Maharashtra police constabulary in May 2010. The petition said for the past 2-3 years, she has been experiencing a conflict within herself, which is why she felt the urge to undergo the surgery. 

The petition stated, “The physical abnormality associated with the gender is by birth. Even though Salve is born as a girl, her orientation is that of a male.” 

In her plea, Salve said she underwent a psychological test at JJ Hospital in Mumbai in June 2016, where the doctors told her she suffered from “gender dysphagia”, and to lead a normal life she would have to undergo “sex reassignment” surgery. 

Salve, in her petition, said she approached her seniors with a request to grant leave for the surgery, but they refused. She claimed that the superintendent of police in Beed asked her not to undergo the sex reassignment surgery, violating her fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. 

The constable also sought a direction to the superintendent of police of Beed to allow her to use her new identity – Lalit Salve – as a male in the police constabulary. She has sought medical expenses for the surgery and hormonal supplements.

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 21:59 IST