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DCPCR suggests ban on sex-selective surgeries on intersex children in Delhi

2 min read


Umamageswari Maruthappan

The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), advised the Delhi Government to ban medically unnecessary sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children.

The order was passed after a plea was filed before the Commission highlighting the cause and consequences of sex-selective surgeries.

Following the plea, the Commission decided to conduct an inquiry and also requested submissions from the Delhi Medical Council, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of NCT of Delhi, Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, and organizations and experts in the domain.

While responding to the enquiry of the Commission, the Delhi Municipal Council expressed its opinion that sex-selective surgeries should be delayed until the patient is able to provide meaningful consent.

Human Rights Activist Anjali Gopalan, in her response, said that such medical interventions, infringe the fundamental rights of the concerned person.

She also noted that not all intersex people are in need of medical interventions.

Intersex people are those who have variations in characteristics and cannot be fixed in the category of either sex. They are often misunderstood for the LGBTQ community.

However, it is to be noted that while LGBTQ is considered as a separate gender, intersex persons neither come under any gender nor separate sex.

Intersex humans are treated as minorities even within the LGBTQ Community. They are often considered disabled people and are forced to undergo medical treatments.

However, such treatments may cause serious implications and at times even lead to life-long medical care.

The same was pleaded before the Delhi Commission and the plea further stated that such surgeries are mostly being conducted without free and full consent.

After due considerations, the Commission passed an order, advising the Government of Delhi, to “declare a ban on medically unnecessary, sex-selective surgeries on intersex infants and children except in cases of life-threatening situations”.

The Commission said that it also considered the judgement of the Madras High Court in this connection.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, in April 2019, pronounced the historic judgement in the case of Arunkumar v. The Inspector General of Registration wherein it ruled “to enforce a ban on non-necessary medical surgeries on intersex infants within eight weeks”.

Accordingly, in August 2019, the Tamil Nadu State Government imposed a ban on sex-selective surgeries on infants and children except in life-threatening situations.

It is to be noted that Tamil Nadu is the first state in India as well as in Asia to pass this progressive order.