The Kerala High Court has held that the values of privacy, self-identity, autonomy and personal integrity are fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution to members of the transgender community and the State is bound to protect and recognise these rights.
It was on a habeas corpus writ petition filed by the mother of Aby James, who, she alleged, was detained by some transgender persons. The mother submitted that Aby had of late started behaving abnormally and was violent at times necessitating medical attention.
After taking treatment, Aby permanently left his parental home and did not return. Aby, who was later produced before a court, was let off after finding that the person was a major and competent enough to take decisions.
The mother submitted that she could not bear the sight of Aby in the robes of a woman and added that her son was renamed as Arundathi.
Aby later appeared before the High Court dressed as a female and asserted his transgender nautre by birth and did not suffer from any mental aberration.
The court held that it had noticed the self-identification of Aby as a transgender which was clearly expressed by the speech, mannerism and clothing. It was further fortified by a medical report, the judgment said.
The court held that the “State cannot prohibit, restrict or interfere with a transgender’s expression of such personality, which reflects that inherent personality.”
The court said the State, either due to ignorance or otherwise, failed to digest the innate character and identity of such persons. The court held that a person had the “right to wander about or associate with like-minded people and cannot be compelled to be at his parental home.”