Madras HC Orders Police Protection To Queer Woman Receiving Threats From Family

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The Logical Indian Crew

Madras HC Orders Police Protection To Queer Woman Receiving Threats From Family

Post disclosure of her sexual orientation, the petitioner was reportedly subjected to verbal and physical abuse from her family.

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The Madras High Court provided police protection to a queer woman after she complained of receiving life threats from her family members. She alleged that post the disclosure of her sexual orientation, she was reportedly subjected to verbal and physical abuse from her family.

Fearing for her life and safety, she left home on April 17 to live with a female friend. Despite knowing her whereabouts, her brother sent her a copy of a 'missing woman' FIR filed on April 22. The bench comprising justice M Nirmal Kumar passed the order on June 25, which was made public on July 6.

Observation of Counsel

According to the counsel, the petitioner is a major who consciously left home. The petitioner apprehends that her family might kill her in the name of honour or cause serious physical injury. Consequently, she requested police protection, according to Hindustan Times.

Reportedly, the petitioner was forcibly married when she was only 17-years-old and had just graduated high school. In time, she realised that she was queer and could not stay in a heterosexual marriage. Resultantly, she and her husband have fallen apart, and there is nothing left in the marriage. Later, she began living with her friend. But her parents thought she brought disgrace to the family. Fearing them, the petitioner left the village with her friend.

Verdict

The police had registered a case of 'missing woman' based on a complaint by the petitioner's mother. But they noted that if the police receive any complaint of a person missing, and upon investigation find that it involves two consenting adults belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community, then the police take their statements and close the complaint without subjecting them to any harassment. The court too observed that the petitioner and her friend are "conscious about their relationship".

The order stated, "In view of the above, the respondent police are directed not to cause any harassment and also give appropriate protection for the safety and life of the petitioner following the guidelines issued by this Court. dated 07.06.2021."

Guidelines Of Historic Judgement

The court followed the guidelines of an earlier judgement, which was touted as historic. In June, justice Anand Venkatesh delivered the judgement where a lesbian couple was seeking protection. The verdict included guidelines for police not to harass the couple, based on 'missing complaints' filed by their parents, similar to this case.

Also read: First-Of-Its-Kind Shelter Home For Transpersons Comes Up In Chennai

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