MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday came down heavily on the alleged attack on transgenders of Alli Nagaram in Theni district by goons hired by a couple, whose son displaying feminine traits sought refuge from them.
“If you think the transgenders are undesirable elements in the society, then you are on the wrong foot,” the court said.
“How can the boy’s family along with hooligans abuse the transgenders simply because he was in their company and not society at large?” Justice P R Shivakumar of the Division Bench in Madurai said.
He and co-judge Justice V S Ravi directed the police to give protection to the Alli Nagaram transgenders and hold a fair investigation.
Appearing for the respondents Banu and Kanaga, both transgenders, in connection with a habeas corpus petition filed by boy’s mother Backiyam, advocate Rajini said the minor went to their house late on July 28 and they handed him over to the Alli Nagaram Police the very next day. When the police summoned his parents, he refused to go with them. Subsequently, they admitted him to a children’s home with the consent of the Child Welfare Committee, she said.
The counsel for respondents also told the court that the boy’s family forcibly took him away from the children’s home to their house, but he reportedly escaped from there on September 25. Even after filing a missing complaint at the Chinnamanur Police Station, the parents took help from goons and attacked the transgenders. The goons damaged their properties on November 15 under the pretext of searching the boy, Rajini claimed.
Hearing the arguments, Justice Shivakumar said the transgenders have been recognised as the third gender at the global level and one of them from Tamil Nadu has been selected as sub-inspector after judicial intervention. “They are talented like others. But because they identify themselves as transgenders, they have been sidelined and deprived of opportunities. Why should they be humiliated because they reveal their identity,” the judge asked.
When the public prosecutor told the court that the police have registered a case and arrested five persons in this regard, the judge wanted to know on whose permission the family members took the boy from the home. He wondered whether they had kept him in a secret place and filed a missing complaint and a habeas corpus petition.
The Bench then directed the police to conduct an impartial probe into both the complaints under the direct supervision of Additional Superintendent of Police, Theni, and file a status report within three weeks.