Courts Update Delhi HC issues notice on plea by trans-woman seeking...

Delhi HC issues notice on plea by trans-woman seeking issuance of passport with changed name, gender

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New Delhi, May 28 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Centre on a plea filed by a transgender woman, seeking issuance of a new passport with the required changes in her name and gender, without insisting on the production of a certification from the hospital, which declares her to be a “woman” and/ or the insistence of a Sex Reassignment Surgery Certificate.

The matter was listed before the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.
“Notice is made returnable on July 27, 2021,” directed the Bench.
The petition was filed by a transgender woman Lasya Kahli Singh, through Advocates Siddharth Seem and Oindrila Sen, who was aggrieved by the deliberate inaction of the Passport Seva Kendra, ITO Delhi and the Regional Passport Office, RK Puram, Delhi, pertaining to issuance of a new passport to the petitioner with the required changes in her name and gender, in accordance with Rule 3(3) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020.

The Counsel for the petitioner informed the Court that the petitioner has already obtained “a new Aadhar Card, a new PAN Card and a new Voter-Id with the changed name and the gender.”
It has been averred in the plea that since the PAN Card and the Aadhar Card of the petitioner have already been updated with the new name and gender, she is not required to submit an application for a certificate of identity as required under Rule 3(3) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020.
Referring to the judgment passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in “National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India and Ors.” [(2014) 5 SCC 438], the plea states that Passport Rules, 1980, in as much as it mandates the production of ‘certification from hospital’ where the person underwent sex change operation successfully is arbitrary, illegal and violative of Article 21 of the Constitution. It has been further stated in the plea that “the insistence on sex reassignment surgery in order for an individual to identify or change their sex/gender is unnecessary and violative of the choice of the individual with respect to undergoing a surgical procedure to reflect the transition.” 
In the light of these averments, the petitioner prays for declaration of the Passport Rules, 1980, insofar as it requires production of the said documents, as unconstitutional and violative of Article 21 of the Constitution. ILNS/BG/RJ

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