Stigmatizing Transgenders: Bombay HC Rebukes Sessions Judge, Grants Bail

Mainstream
18-Jan-2024
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The Bombay High Court has criticized the "stereotypical and generalizing" remarks made by a sessions judge in Pandharpur while rejecting the bail plea of a transgender person. Justice Madhav J Jamdar expressed displeasure over the unnecessary observations and emphasized that transgenders are citizens entitled to live with dignity.

The transgender person faced charges of assaulting a devotee, demanding money, and alleged forcible disrobing at the Vitthal-Rukmini temple in Pandharpur. The additional sessions judge, M B Lambe, had rejected the bail plea, accompanied by remarks that drew criticism for being discriminatory.

Advocate Ravi Asbe, representing the applicant, argued against the unwarranted observations recorded by the session's judge. Additional Public Prosecutor Anamika Malhotra, representing the police, concurred, stating that such comments should not have been made.

The Bombay High Court, in response, emphasized the constitutional rights of transgenders. Justice Jamdar invoked Article 21 of the Constitution, which protects the right to life and personal liberty, including the right to live with dignity. The court deemed the session judge's remarks unnecessary and unrelated to the bail application.

Despite the chargesheet not being filed, and acknowledging the completion of the investigation, the court considered the likelihood of a prolonged trial. Concluding that the applicant did not pose a flight risk, the court granted bail with imposed conditions.

This decision not only secures bail for the transgender person but also serves as a rebuke against discriminatory comments, reinforcing the principle that every citizen, regardless of gender identity, is entitled to dignity and constitutional protection.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University