Transgender sailor's plea against dismissal: HC seeks Centre's reply

Transgender sailor

The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre and the Indian Navy-'s response on why a transgender sailor-'s plea against dismissal from service be not...

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre and the Indian Navy's response on why a transgender sailor's plea against dismissal from service be not admitted.

A bench of justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the central government and the Navy to "show cause why the petition be not admitted" and listed the matter for further hearing on April 26.

The order came after senior advocate Anil Grover, appearing for the former sailor, told the court that his client has declined to accept the Navy's offer of a job in a private company which works for the government.The sailor was removed from service after he underwent a sex change surgery to become a female.

The Navy had earlier told the court that while there was no job in the naval force for the former sailor, it could facilitate her to get employed as a data entry operator in a private company.

Grover, had on the last date of hearing, said the offered job paid much less than what his client was getting while being on the rolls of the navy and had termed the offer as "unfair".The ex-sailor has challenged the October 6, 2017 order of the Navy removing her from service whereby it had said that women cannot be employed as sailors.

In her plea, the former sailor claimed that she was suffering from gender identity issues since 2011 and, when she had told her parents, they forced her to marry a woman.

She further claimed that she was absent from service without leave several times as she suffered from bouts of depression.The court had earlier called for a change in mindset while asking the Navy to consider her for another job.It had said that while the person deserved to be punished for indiscipline for being absent without leave, but where there was a medical condition of this sort, it may be seen from a different perspective.

The bench was also of the view that the petitioner who was posted onboard INS Eksila at Visakhapatnam, could give up the claim for the job of a sailor and may accept a clerical position so that the family, comprising aged parents, the individual's wife and child, need not suffer.

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