Tamil Nadu

Judge wants to learn about same sex relationships before penning judgment

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh  

In an unprecedented move, a judge of the Madras High Court has decided to undergo psychoeducation before penning a judgment on same sex relationships.

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh felt the words on the subject should come from his heart and not from his head. Therefore, he requested a psychologist to give him an appointment so that the professional could help him understand such relationships and pave the way for “his evolution”.

 

Passing interim orders on a petition filed by two young women with same sex orientation, the judge, on Wednesday, said, “Insofar as the request made by the learned counsel S. Manuraj, for the petitioners, to set out guidelines in cases of this nature is concerned, I want to give myself some more time to churn. Ultimately in this case, the words must come from my heart and not from my head, and the same will not be possible if I am not fully woke on this aspect.”

Hence, he wanted to subject himself to psychoeducation with Vidhya Dinakaran, a psychologist. “If I write an order after undergoing psychoeducation, I trust that the words will fall from my heart.”

The two women graduates from Madurai had approached the High Court last month fearing threat to their lives from their parents. They had fled home, taken refuge with a non-governmental organisation in Chennai and were looking for jobs. After holding in-camera proceedings with them and their parents, the judge found that they all required counselling by a psychologist and accordingly asked them to attend a session with Ms. Dinakaran.

After the first round of counselling, the psychologist submitted a report on Wednesday, stating that the petitioners perfectly understand the relationship between them and had absolutely no confusion in their minds. They want to continue their education and work and also stay in touch with their parents. However, the women feared that their parents might force them to get separated now and were willing to wait until the latter could understand the relationship.

On the mental state of the parents, she opined that they were more concerned about the stigma attached to the relationship in the society and the consequences that may ensue on their family. The parents were also very much concerned about the safety and security of their respective daughters.

The report said that the parents would rather prefer their daughters to live a life of celibacy, which according to them will be more dignified than having a partner of the same sex. They also had serious confusions regarding the lineage, adoption and other normal consequences that follow a heterosexual relationship and as to how the same would apply in a case of same sex relationship.

After taking the report on file, the judge said the parents could not be expected to change their notions overnight.

Therefore, he directed them to attend one more counselling session before the case could be heard next on June 7.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 9:36:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/judge-wants-to-learn-about-same-sex-relationships-before-penning-judgment/article34434837.ece

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