Kerala High Court uphold transwoman's right to autonomy and safety

The bench, comprising Judges Raja Vijayaraghavan V and P M Manoj, declared that Elida is free to choose her place of residence where she can be safe and freely express her identity.
Kerala High Court uphold transwoman's right to autonomy and safety
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The Kerala High Court has ruled in favour of the 19 year old transwoman from Kochi, allegedly forced into conversion therapy, affirming her right to autonomy and safety. The bench, comprising Judges Raja Vijayaraghavan V and P M Manoj, declared that the concerned person is free to choose her place of residence where she can be safe and freely express her identity. Her parents are mandated to cover her education and financial needs. Additionally , she has the liberty to consult a psychiatrist of her choice.  The official order will be uploaded shortly. 

The landmark judgement follows the court’s previous order restraining any medical procedures on her without her consent, in response to allegations of coercion by her family. An habeas corpus was filed by the transwoman's friend, backed by Dhisha Kerala and Adv. Dhanuja M S. This ruling not only ensures the concerned person's immediate freedom but also sets a precedent for the protection of transgender individuals’ rights in India. 

"Dhisha Kerala and Adv. Dhanuja has worked really hard in ensuring that she gets justice and now it has happened", says Adithya, who is the petitioner and concerned person's friend.

Kerala High Court uphold transwoman's right to autonomy and safety
19-year-old transwoman harassed by parents, subjected to forceful conversion therapy in Kochi; Kerala HC intervenes

This case highlights the ongoing struggles faced by the transgender persons, particularly in relation to family and societal acceptance and pressure. The court’s decision underscores the importance of respecting their autonomy. The judgement is a significant step forward in safeguarding the dignity and rights of transgender people, emphasising that any form of coercion therapy or forced medical intervention is unacceptable.

As outlined in the Supriya Chakraborthy and Another vs Union of India, conversion therapies and other treatments which are aimed at altering sexual orientation amounts to cruelty, inhuman and degrading treatment of queer persons. 

The official order is anticipated to provide further details on the implementation of the court’s directives and the steps to ensure the person’s continued safety and well-being. 

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