Bombay HC directs cop to administrative tribunal over petition seeking leave for sex change surgery

The Bombay High Court, on Monday, dismissed the petition of a police constable from Beed seeking leave for a sex change surgery and directed her to approach the state administrative tribunal first.

Published: 27th November 2017 07:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2017 10:05 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose. | PTI

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court, on Monday, directed the police constable seeking leave for a sex change surgery to approach the state administrative tribunal first while declining to admit her petition for immediate hearing.

Lalita Salve, the 29-year-old cop who is currently attached to Majalgaon police station of Beed district in Marathwada region, had approached the High Court after her request for a month’s leave to undergo a sex change surgery was turned down.

Lalita, who has said that she has been experiencing several hormonal changes in her body for past five years and prefers to be called Lalit, had approached authorities at various levels in the police department right from her police station to the director general. But, she was told that she would lose job after the surgery as her appointment was from the women’s quota.

READ HERE: Maharashtra government allows woman cop to undergo sex change operation, lets her stay in service as 'policeman'

After being refused the leave, Lalita had filed a petition in the High Court last week, seeking a direction to Maharashtra’s director general of police (DGP) to grant her leave for the surgery.

However, when Lalita’s lawyer, Ejaz Naqvi, sought an urgent hearing on the petition, the bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharti Dangre, refused the request for urgent hearing while directing the petitioner to approach the administrative tribunal.

 “Why should we hear the petition? Go to the state administrative tribunal,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

The petition is yet to be admitted by the High Court and is expected to be eventually heard.

According to the petition, Lalita, born in June 1988, noticed changes in her body five years ago and underwent medical tests, wherein it presence of Y chromosome, that underlines the male trait, was established in her body.

 “The petitioner later undertook counselling sessions with psychiatrists at the state-run J J Hospital. The doctors detected that she had a gender dysphoria abnormality and advised her to undergo a sex reassignment surgery if she was willing to and was of sound mind,” the petition said.

Saying that the police authorities denied her leave for sex change surgery, the petition contended that the said decision of the police authorities was in violation of the petitioner’s fundamental rights.

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