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HC asks woman cop to approach tribunal for sex change surgery

The Bombay High Court asked a 28-year-old woman police constable in Beed district to approach the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal over her request for leave to undergo a sex-change surgery.

Lalita Salve, who now prefers to be called Lalit, had sought a month’s leave to undergo a sex reassignment surgery, but the request was refused by the Beed police authorities.

She filed a petition in the high court last week, seeking a direction to Maharashtra’s director general of police (DGP) to grant her leave for the surgery.

Salves lawyer, Ejaz Naqvi, mentioned the petition before a bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharti Dangre, seeking an urgent hearing on it.

“Why should we hear the petition? Go to the state administrative tribunal,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

According to the petition, Salve, born in June 1988, noticed changes in her body three years ago and underwent medical tests, which confirmed the presence of Y chromosome in her body.

While men have X and Y sex chromosomes, women have two X chromosomes.

“The petitioner later undertook counselling sessions with psychiatrists at the state-run J J Hospital. The doctors detected that she had a gender dysphoria abnormality and advised her to undergo a sex reassignment surgery, if she was willing to and was of sound mind,” the petition said.

Subsequently, Salve approached senior police officials and sought a month’s medical leave to undergo the surgery.

“Last week, the superintendent of police (SP) of Beed district informed the petitioner that she could not undergo a sex reassignment surgery and refused to grant her leave,” the petition said.

It contended that the said decision of the Beed police authorities was violative of the petitioner’s fundamental rights.

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