Legal Services Body In Bengal Gets Its First Transgender Advocate

Ankani Biswas, however, claimed it was the first such instance where a transgender advocate has been made a part of any state legal services authority in the country.

Legal Services Body In Bengal Gets Its First Transgender Advocate

Ankani Biswas is a practising advocate at the Calcutta High Court. (Representational)

Kolkata:

West Bengal Legal Services Authority has got its first transgender advocate with the empanelment of Ankani Biswas by Calcutta High Court Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, its member secretary Raju Mukherjee said here on Thursday.

Mr Biswas, however, claimed it was the first such instance where a transgender advocate has been made a part of any state legal services authority in the country.

"The Acting Chief Justice, who is the patron-in-chief and executive chairman of West Bengal State Legal Services Authority, approved the empanelment of Ankani Biswas alias Ankan on Wednesday," Mr Mukherjee said.

The Supreme Court had in a landmark judgment in 2014 declared that transgenders would henceforth be treated as third gender. It also gave them the right to self-identification as male, female or third gender.

Mr Biswas, enrolled with the Bar Council of Bengal, is a practising advocate at the Calcutta High Court.

"It's a very big day for me. I hope this will inspire many other transgenders to reach newer milestones," Mr Biswas told PTI on his empanelment.

The advocate also said that he had to overcome struggles and insults over the years to be able to pursue his profession.

In September, 2020, the high court administration, in its employment notification for assistant registrar, had added "others" in the gender categories in an employment notification.

Mr Biswas had then moved a petition before the high court seeking an opportunity to apply.