PRAYAGRAJ: Observing that a person has a constitutional right to change his or her sex through surgical intervention, the Allahabad high court has directed the UP DGP to dispose of an application filed by a female police constable seeking permission to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS).
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.
I f we, in modern society, 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 aperson 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 amust and should be encouraged,” the bench added.
The court made the observations while dealing with a writ petition filed by an unmarried UP police woman constable who claimed to be suffering from gender dysphoria and wished to undergo SRS to get herself ultimately identified and personalised as a male with a male physical character.
Appearing on behalf of the petitioner, her counsel said the petitioner applied for necessary sanction for SRS on March 11 this year before UP DGP, Lucknow, but no decision had been taken in that regard and, therefore, the present petition was moved.
The petitioner’s counsel relied primarily upon the Supreme Court case of the National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India and Others (2014) to contend that the respondents were not justified in withholding the petitioner’s application.
The Supreme Court in this case had declared transgender people as the “third gender” while giving them the right to self-identification of their gender as male, female or third gender. It was argued that as per the 2014 ruling of the Supreme Court, wherein gender identity was declared to be an integral part of the dignity of an individual, the respondent authorities were bound to take a decision in the petitioner’s case.
The court has asked the state government to apprise the court whether the state government had framed guidelines as per the 2014 decision of the Supreme Court to provide medical care to transgenders in hospitals and also provide them separate public toilets.

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