Plea seeks ban on sex-selective surgery for some kids

HC asks Delhi government to respond to plea seeking ban on sex-selective surgeries on same-sex infants

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the Delhi government and the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) on a plea seeking to declare a ban on medically unnecessary sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children except in cases of life threatening situations here.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Delhi government and DCPCR and asked them to respond to the petition.

The bench listed the matter for further hearing in October.

The petition filed by NGO, Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation, said the DCPCR gave a considered opinion that the Delhi government and its Health Department should declare a ban on medically unnecessary, sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children except in cases of life threatening situations but no decision has been taken on the opinion till date.

"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. This aspect is proved by recent news reports that examine the reasons behind the reluctance to seek medical help despite having symptoms of Covid-19 among a significant number of intersex people," the plea, filed through advocates Robin Raju, Yash Prakash and Deepa Joseph, said.

The petitioner sought direction to the government to implement the DCPCR’s opinion and also frame a detailed policy or guidelines specifying the conditions when medical surgery on intersex infants and children can be performed.

The plea said the issue of such surgeries may not be trending news or an issue that gains prominence in front pages of newspapers but it is indeed an issue that exists and is prevalent in the society.

It said the cases of intersex human rights violations in India used to go unnoticed in the past, but nowadays due to the strong influence of social media, such news are being highlighted in the public domain.

It also referred to a judgement of the Supreme Court which had stated that no one shall be forced to undergo medical procedures, including sex reassignment surgeries, sterilisation or hormonal therapy, as a requirement for legal recognition of their gender identity.

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