Delhi HC notice to Delhi govt on plea seeking ban on sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants, children

Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation, a non-governmental trust, in its petition, cited an opinion given by DCPCR against such surgeries and argued that the Supreme Court has already held that no one shall be forced to undergo medical procedures as a requirement for legal recognition of their gender identity.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Delhi government and Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) on a petition seeking a ban on performing sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children.

The division bench of Chief Justice D.N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked the authorities to respond to the plea filed by Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation on October 11, the next date of hearing in the matter.

Intersex people are born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not fit the typical definitions of female or male, explained the petition.

Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation, a non-governmental trust, in its petition filed through advocate Robin Raju, cited an opinion given by DCPCR against such surgeries and argued that the Supreme Court has already held that no one shall be forced to undergo medical procedures as a requirement for legal recognition of their gender identity.

Stating that the recommendation given by DCPCR for a ban on performing such sex-selective surgeries was sent to the Delhi government and its health department in January, the organisation in the petition told the court that no steps in this regard have been taken yet by the State.

“The issue of sex-selective surgeries or medically unnecessary normalising surgeries has a long-lasting drastic psychological impact on the minds of intersex people and deters them from even seeking medical attention in future,” argues the petition.

The petition also states Tamil Nadu has already banned sex reassignment surgeries on intersex infants and children, except in life-threatening situations. “The State of Tamil Nadu thus became the first in India and Asia and second globally, to ban sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children,” the organisation has said.

Besides seeking implementation of DCPCR’s recommendation, the petition also seeks framing of a detailed policy or guidelines specifying the conditions when the medical surgery on intersex infants and children can be performed.

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