Ths Allahabad High Court has said that a person has a constitutional right to change his or her sex through surgical intervention as it directed the Uttar Pradesh DGP to dispose of an application filed by a female police constable seeking permission to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
Dealing with a plea by the woman, a bench of Justice Ajit Kumar observed that if a person suffers from gender dysphoria and, except for physical structure, her feelings and traits are of the opposite sex so much so that that there is a complete misalignment of her personality with her physical body, such a person does possess a constitutionally recognised right to get her sex changed though surgical intervention.
"If we do not acknowledge this vested right in a person, we would be only encouraging gender identity disorder syndrome. At times such a problem may be fatal as such a person may suffer from disorder, anxiety, depression, negative self-image and dislike of one's sexual anatomy. If psychological interventions to alleviate such distress as above fail, surgical intervention should become a must and should be encouraged," the bench added.
In her plea, the woman submitted she is presently working as Woman Constable in UP Police. However, as per assessment made by her of characteristics of her own personality, she found in herself all the traits of a male personality and always felt an urge to develop nearness with females as opposed to her physical characteristics of a male.
She claimed to have a feeling of a male in herself trapped in a female body. Accordingly, she claimed to be suffering from Gender Dysphoria. This has been so diagnosed also by an authorized medical practitioner who runs mind clinic at New Delhi after conducting psychological test of her.
She sought permission to undergo Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) to get herself ultimately identified and personalised as a male with true male physical character.
The petitioner applied for necessary sanction on March 11, 2023 to the Director General of Police, but no decision was taken in that regard till date.
Hearing her plea, the bench asked the state government as to whether it has also framed any rules or not in the light of directions issued by the Supreme Court in the case of National Legal Services Authority (2014). The counsel sought time to obtain instructions in the matter.
"Let an appropriate affidavit be filed on behalf of the state government as to whether it has also framed any such Act in compliance of directions issued by the Supreme Court and if that be so, the same may also be brought on record. However, it is provided at the same time that any such Act or Rule if has not been famed till date, the State Government will ensure to frame such Act at par with the Central legislation and file a comprehensive affidavit in that regard as to what steps have been taken so far," the bench said.
The court fixed the matter for hearing on September 21.