A transgender woman has moved a PIL before the Delhi High Court challenging rules of Department of Publication, Government of India, which mandatorily requires Sex Reassignment Surgery for changing the gender of a person on official records.
In the present PIL, the Petitioner, who identifies as a hijra, seeks to challenge the Guidelines for Notification of Public Notice for Change of Sex alongwith the Specimen Proforma, as well as the notifications issued by Delhi University and CBSE amending the rule regarding change of name or gender.
The Petitioner had made two applications to Department of Publications, Government of India, seeking to change her name and gender on her education documents. The said Department, however, denied her plea by citing a proforma which mandatorily requires Sex Reassignment Surgery as a prerequisite for filing an application for gender change.
Therefore, it is submitted by the Petitioner that the mandatory requirement for Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) by the Department of Publications violates rights enshrined under Article 21 and Article 19. Moreover, it also goes against the law laid down by the Supreme Court in NALSA v. Union of India.
The Petitioner is also aggrieved by the amendments made by the Delhi University and Central Board of Secondary Education regarding the change of gender in educational documents.
The amended CBSE rule restricts the period for changing candidate's name or gender to anytime before the publication of her results. Earlier, this period provided a window of 10 years from the date of publication for changing the said details.
On the other hand, the new rule notified by Delhi University requires the changes to be made in the CBSE records before any change is sought in the records of the University.
The Petitioner is aggrieved by these rules as they force her to live with the name and gender identity ascribed to her at birth which violates her right to self-identification of gender and lead a dignified life.
The authorities have also failed to consider that due to the societal and parental pressures a child is usually discouraged from expressing their self-identified gender and is forced to fit into the roles of gender prescribed at birth. It's only later in life, when they attain majority, that they can assert their actual identity.
Therefore, the amended rules of both Delhi University and CBSE are ultra vires of the Constitution as they push many people who want to self-identify their gender as opposite to the one prescribed to them at birth, to live a life which is devoid of dignity and freedom.