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Breaking: Recognition of Gender Identity as Kerala HC refuses to interfere in Habeas Corpus petition by mother of Transgender

Bar & Bench

In a case which raised the significant issue of gender identity, the Kerala High Court yesterday allowed a Transgender person to be identified by the gender of her choice while declining to issue a Habeas Corpus writ as prayed by the mother of the Transgender.

A decision was taken by a Bench of Justices V Chitambaresh and KP Jyothindranath after considering a medical report submitted by the Mental hospital at Kusamagiri, attesting that the Transgender person suffered from no mental disorder.

Adverting to the same and taking note of the fact that the person had attained the age of majority, the court remarked that “she can go wherever she wants to.” The Court also said that it will pass a detailed order later.

The case raised the important question of gender identity. The mother of the person had claimed that her son was not a Transgender mentally or psychologically. She had claimed that he had “mental aberration of mood disorder” and a Transgender group took advantage of the same and detained him. It was her contention that her son even changed his name to Arundhathi “in conspiracy with the interested Transgender gang”.

She had, therefore, prayed for issuance of Habeas Corpus to get the custody of the person from the Transgender group.

The Transgender person had, however, told the court that she was living as per her wishes and had identified herself as a woman from the age of 11.

Therefore, the High Court had on June 4, ordered medical/psychological examination of the Transgender person to determine whether she suffered from any mood disorder as claimed by the petitioner mother.

In 2014, the Supreme Court had addressed the question of gender identity and had ruled,

“Gender identity refers to each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth…..Gender identity, therefore, refers to an individual’s self-identification as a man, woman, transgender or other identified category….

Self-identified gender can be either male or female or a third gender.

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