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Curious Legal Battle on Gender in TN

in INDIA, 30/11/2013

Classification of the transgender is a debate that has raged since the days of mythology. However, even as governments and civil society are seeking to empower them by recognising them as a third gender, a curious legal battle is being waged at a court in Chennai.

A group of 11 transgenders, who were arrested four years ago for allegedly abducting a 15-year old school boy and pushing him into flesh trade after a sex-change surgery, have questioned the legal basis of their prosecution at the Mahila Court.

Their argument is that neither the accused transgender nor the victim was a woman and, therefore, the Mahila Court cannot exercise jurisdiction over the case. Legally a Mahila court deals with cases where a woman is the victim.

In the instant case, the Mahila Court in Chennai is conducting trial against the 11 transgenders who were taken into custody after the boy’s parents lodged a complaint that they had abducted him in 2006. Three years later, the boy had returned home as a transgender and narrated how he was pushed into sex trade by the other transgenders in Andhra Pradesh.

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