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G. NAGALAKSHMI V. DIRECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE

Read the full judgement here
citation:

(2014) 7 MLJ 452

court:

MADRAS HIGH COURT

judges:

Justice S Nagamuthu

KEY FACTS:

The Petitioner was assigned a gender identity by the doctor at birth and was also recognised as a female by society and Governmental organisations. The Respondent (Uniformed Services Recruitment Board) conducted a selection process for appointing Women Police Constables in the Tamil Nadu Police Subordinate Services and selected the Petitioner. While undergoing training, in a clinical test, the medical examiner issued a certificate stating that the Petitioner was transexual. The Petitioner subsequently resigned from services. She alleged that she was put to intolerable mental torture, agony and ridicule by the open statement of gender identity by the government.

ISSUE:

The issue before the court was whether resignation by the Petitioner was voluntary or due to the insistence of Principal of Police Recruit School, and if involuntary, whether the Petitioner must be re-instated.

DECISION:

The petitioner underwent the medical examination and the resignation letter was also obtained on the same day. Therefore, the court concluded that resignation was evidently not voluntary but forced because of the petitioner’s gender identity. The court referred to the cases of NALSA v. Union of India and Nangai v. Superintendent of Police and upheld that in the absence of any Special Law, the Petitioner has got the liberty to choose her sexual/gender identity. The court upheld the right of the petitioner to choose her sexual/gender identity, to be female.

The Court passed an order setting aside the termination of the petitioner from service issued by the Superintendent of Police. It further asked for the reinstatement of the petitioner with back wages.

SIGNIFICANCE:

The Court recognized that compelling a person to undergo a medical examination of gender itself, violated Article 21. It upheld a person’s right to self-identify their own gender as stated in NALSA v. Union of India. It disregarded medical proof of gender and noted the consistent emphasis on binary gender identities in Indian and international documents.