The Delhi High Court has granted eight weeks to the Delhi government to take an appropriate decision on a recommendation by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) to ban medically unnecessary sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants except in cases of life-threatening situations.

A Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad disposed of a petition by an NGO seeking a ban on such procedure and said that the petitioner if aggrieved by the decision of the government, shall be free to file a fresh plea.

Advocate Robin Raju appeared for the petitioner while Advocate Satyakam appeared for GNCTD and Neha Jain for DCPCR.

The Bench recorded that DCPCR, in its report, said that after careful deliberations, it was of the considered opinion that the Government of Delhi should declare a ban on medically unnecessary sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children except in cases of life-threatening situations and advises the government accordingly.

Delhi government counsel sought time to take an appropriate decision on the recommendations made by DCPCR.

He (Delhi government counsel), therefore, prays for and is granted eight weeks' time to take appropriate decision on the said recommendations made by DCPCR. In light of the aforesaid, no further orders are required to be passed in the instant petition, said the court in its order dated July 27.

NGO Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation moved to the High Court last year, saying that in spite of the opinion given by the DCPCR, the authorities were not taking any decision on the issue of the ban.

The petitioner thus 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 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 the 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 said.

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

It also referred to a Judgment 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.

Cause Title: Srishti Madurai Educational Research Foundation v. Govt. Of Nct Of Delhi & Ors.

Click here to read/download Judgment

With PTI inputs