Delhi HC: Requirement of Gender Reassignment Certificate to Get Passport Rule is ‘Violative of Constitution’

Khushi Doshi

Published on: April 12, 2022 at 18:06 IST

The Delhi High Court remarked that India’s Passport Rules requiring Transgender People to produce a Certificate of Gender Reassignment Surgery contradict the Supreme Court’s directive that Trans people have the Right to Self-Choose their Gender.

The Government cannot require someone to undergo a sex-change operation just to obtain a Passport, according to a Bench comprised of acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla.

The remarks were made during a hearing on a Petition by a Transgender woman, Lasya Kahli Singh, who challenged Passport Rules that require a Transgender Person to obtain a gender Reassignment Certificate to be reissued a Passport that recognises any such person as male or female.

The insistence on sex reassignment surgery for an individual to identify or change their sex or gender was unnecessary and violated an individual’s choice in undergoing a procedure.

During Proceedings, the Petitioner’s Lawyer informed the Court about the Supreme Court’s Landmark decision in NALSA Vs. Union of India in 2014, in which the Apex Court granted Constitutional recognition to Transgenders as a third gender and granted them the right to have a family.

The Supreme Court ordered the Government to treat Transgender people as a Socially and Educationally backward group, with Reservations in educational institutions and public appointments.

According to the Petition, the Petitioner changed her name and gender from male to female in December 2019. However, a Regional Passport Office instructed her to produce a ‘sex change certificate in hand by a surgeon’ to have her passport reissued as a female in accordance with the Passport Rules, 1980.

Her old passport was also Cancelled, and her new passport was put on hold due to a Lack of the Certificate, according to the Petition.

Also Read: A Brief Study on Transgender’s Protection of Rights

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