Bombay High Court
Mumbai, May 7: Bidhan Baruah, the 21-year-old man from Guwahati who had approached the Bombay High Court to be allowed to undergo a sex change operation, was given a go-ahead by the court today.
The division bench of Justices S.J. Vajifdar and A.R. Joshi said since Bidhan was an adult, there is no law that prohibits him from doing what he wants.
“The petitioner is a 21-year-old and hence, a major. If he wants to go ahead, he should not be stopped,” the court said.
“Neither the state of Maharashtra nor the Union has any objection in allowing the petitioner to undergo any surgery he wishes to undergo. There is no law prohibiting it,” the court ruled.
Bidhan had sought a restraining order against his father who he alleges had threatened him against going ahead with the sex reassignment surgery that will allow him to lead his life as a woman.
The court, however, said it could not direct a person not to cause harm to another and ruled that Bidhan had the liberty to make an application to the police if he perceived any threat.
He has been directed to file an application at Colaba police station, the area in which the hotel he is staying in Mumbai is located.
“The concerned police authorities are required to consider his application in accordance with law and to take all the necessary steps with regard to his personal safety,” the court said.
Bidhan, who had also threatened suicide in a letter to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court when the court had refused to hear his matter on an urgent basis, was told by the bench, “to come to the court of law and not go anywhere else”.
Outside court, Bidhan told reporters that he was very happy with the relief granted by court. “I am very happy and relieved by the court’s decision. I can now go ahead with my surgery and marriage plans,” Bidhan said.
Bidhan had said in his petition, he had transsexual gender symptoms since birth and in the absence of medical care from his parents, has lived under serious mental trauma and social stigma.
He is keen on living his life as a woman and marrying his partner, an Air Force flight lieutenant.
Bidhan, who is pursuing a graduation course in commerce, had come to Mumbai for a scheduled surgery on March 31, with the money he saved and that he received from his partner.
But he alleged that his father and brother, who got to know of his plans, objected to the surgery and threatened his doctor.
“The surgery that was took place on April 17 was therefore called off and the doctors asked me to get a go-ahead from the court and a restraining order against them (father and brother),” Bidhan said.
His father, who is employed with the railways in Guwahati, had said that he did not want his son to undergo the surgery at such an early age.
However, there was no representation by him in court today.