29 July 2022 5:49 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has granted eight weeks time to the Delhi Government for taking appropriate decision on the recommendation given by Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) to declare a ban on medically unnecessary, sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children except in cases of life-threatening situations. A division bench comprising of Chief Justice...
The Delhi High Court has granted eight weeks time to the Delhi Government for taking appropriate decision on the recommendation given by Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) to declare a ban on medically unnecessary, sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children except in cases of life-threatening situations.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad disposed of a PIL filed by Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation, an independent Trust, which sought guidelines specifying the conditions when medical surgery on intersex infants and children can be performed.
Advocate Robin Raju appearing for the petitioner apprised the Court that the DCPCR had submitted a detailed report to the Delhi Government on the issue of Sex-Selective Surgeries on intersex infants and children.
On the other hand, the Delhi Government sought time to take appropriate decision on the said recommendations, to which eight weeks time was granted by Court to take appropriate decision on the same.
"In light of the aforesaid, no further orders are required to be passed in the instant petition. The petitioner, if aggrieved by the decision of GNCTD, shall be free to file a fresh petition," the Court ordered.
Filed through Advocates Robin Raju, Yash Prakash and Deepa Joseph, the plea highlighted the need to ban sex selective surgeries on infants and children.
Placing reliance on the judgment in National Legal Services Authority (NLSA) v. Union of India where the Supreme Court had opined that no one shall be forced to undergo medical procedures as a requirement for legal recognition of their gender identity, the plea submitted that the instant issue is of extreme significance as it pertains to "human rights and bodily integrity of a human being".
In this background, the petition averred:
".. the issue of sex-selective surgeries or medically unnecessary normalizing surgeries has a long lasting drastic psychological impact on the minds of intersex people and deters them from even seeking medical attention in future. This aspect is proved by recent news reports that examine the reasons behind reluctance to seek medical help despite having symptoms of Covid-19 among a significant number of intersex people."
The plea also relied on the decision of Madras High Court directing the Govt. of Tamil Nadu to effectively ban sex reassignment surgeries on intersex infants and children.
The DCPCR issued an opinion dated 13 January 2021 stating that the Delhi Government should declare a ban on these sex selective surgeries.
This opinion was based on the response of the Delhi Medical Council, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi and Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi.
It was the implementation of this opinion rendered by DCPCR, that was being sought by the petitioner.
Case Title: Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 724
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