No law which prohibits sex change operation, Bombay High Court says in Bidhan Barua case

Mumbai The Bombay High Court today heard the plea of Bidhan Barua, a youngster from Guwahati who wants to undergo a sex change operation. In his plea, Bidhan seeks to restrain his parents, who are reportedly attempting to stop the surgery.

The court today said, "He (Bidhan) is an adult and can take his own decision. There is no law which prohibits sex change operation."

"If there is any threat to the petitioner, he should write to Colaba PS and Police Commissioner," the court added.

Bidhan had threatened to kill himself after the court declined to hear his case on an urgent basis. The court has warned him that he cannot use pressure tactics.

Bidhan's lawyer had told the High Court earlier that the parents of the petitioner had got his bank account frozen and were infringing upon his fundamental rights.

Bidhan told reporters last week that he had written letters to Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court and National Human Rights Commission urging them to intervene and grant him a favourable order so that he could undergo the sex change surgery or else he will commit suicide. He had written in his application that he is female trapped in a male body and wants to marry a flight lieutenant in the Indian Air Force.

Bidhan, who likes to call himself Swati, alleged that his parents had stalled the sex change surgery which was to be performed at Saifee hospital on April 17.

Bidhan says that he realised early in life that he was born in the wrong sex and preferred to dress like girls. This angered his parents who ill-treated him and beat him up, he alleged. The 21-year-old said it was in standard 7th that he learnt through the Internet that medical science could provide a remedy to his problem through a sex change procedure and he decided to go for it. He did odd jobs after school hours to earn money for the operation which would cost him anywhere between Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh.

On March 2 this year, Bidhan underwent a psychiatric test in Guwahati to check whether he was fit enough to undergo such a procedure. As the result was positive, he ran away from home on March 31 and came to Mumbai where he stayed with his cousin. However, his father Supti Ranjan Barua traced him to Mumbai.

In Guwahati, Bidhan's father, who works as a cook, had said earlier that he is concerned about his son and wants him to be happy but cannot understand or accept his insistence on becoming a woman. "I feel ashamed that he wants to change his sex," said Supti Ranjan Barua to NDTV. "If he changes his gender, I will not be able to bear the humiliation," he pleaded.

Story First Published: May 07, 2012 09:17 IST

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