GUWAHATI: Assam is getting its first transgender judge – the third in the country – in Swati Bidhan Baruah, who hails from Guwahati. She will mediate cases in a national Lok Adalat in the city on Saturday.
Joyita Mondal of West Bengal is India’s first transgender judge. She had achieved the feat last year. The next transgender to be appointed as a judge was Vidya Kamble of Maharashtra. She was appointed as a member judge in a Lok Adalat in Nagpur in February this year.
Swati’s appointment was made by the Kamrup (metro) district legal service authority. She will be among 20 judges who will mediate the cases in the Lok Adalat.
According to official sources, the Bench will be presided over by retired district and sessions judge H Ali Hazarika and the Lok Adalat will be held on the premises of Kamrup (Metro) district and sessions judge in Guwahati.
Swati is a transgender activist who has been fighting for long for the rights of transgender community. She will mediate in pre-litigation cases related to finance companies. During the Lok Adalat, cases pending in family courts, motor accident claims tribunals, labour courts etc would be disposed of.
Swati is elated following her appointment.
“We, the transgenders, are often booed and taunted by some people in public but we are like any other human beings. I am sure that my appointment will make them realise that transgenders are not untouchable,” she said.
Back in 2012, she was in news as she had moved the Bombay High Court after her family had opposed her decision to undergo a sex reassignment surgery. Later, she changed her name to Swati.