‘Will Help Create Awareness About Discrimination Against Transgenders,’ Says First Trans Judge From Assam
The Logical Indian Crew Assam
July 15th, 2018 / 11:39 PM
Image Credit: Swati Bidhan Baruah/ Facebook
Swati Bidhan Baruah from Guwahati became the first transgender judge in Assam and third in the country to intercede cases in a national Lok Adalat on July 14, 2018. She will be one among the 20 judges in the Lok Adalat. She was appointed by the Kamrup (metro) district legal service authority
As reported by The New Indian Express the Bench will be presided over by H Ali Hazarika, retired district and sessions judge. The Lok Adalat will be held on the premises of Kamrup (Metro) district and sessions judge in Guwahati. Swati will be mediating in pre-litigation cases related to finance companies. During the Lok Adalat, cases pending in family courts, motor accident claims tribunals, labour courts etc would be disposed of.
Elated by her appointment, Swati said, “We, the transgenders, are often booed and taunted by some people in public but we are like any other human beings. I am sure that my appointment will make them realise that transgenders are not untouchable.”
Will create awareness among others
In 2012, Swati Baruah decided to undergo a sex reassignment operation even as she face opposition from her family members. She underwent the operation after it was permitted by the Bombay High Court, reported The Telegraph.
“My appointment as a judge in the Lok Adalat is a very positive message for the society and will help create awareness on discrimination against transgenders,” she told the reporters of The Times of India.
In July 2017, Joyita Mondal became the country’s first transgender judge. She was appointed as a member judge during a national Lol Adalat at Islampur in North Dinajpur district. And in February this year, Maharashtra appointed the state’s first transgender judge by appointing Vidya Kamble as a member judge in a Lok Adalat in Nagpur.
The Supreme Court in 2014 ruled that transgenders should be treated as a third gender in India, opening the gates to job and education opportunities for them. While this move legally bestowed them with rights at par with the general public, there is still a long way to go before the society accepts them and treats them equally.
The Logical Indian community congratulates Swati Baruah and hopes that she has a wonderful future ahead.
The transgender community has always been oppressed and marginalized and meted out with all forms of violence and abuse, physical, psychological as well as sexual. In light of this scenario, the appointment of transgenders to public offices, such as judges will give them much-needed representation and a “voice” on the public forum, and help them fight for their rights and improve their social status and standard of life.
Also published on Medium.
Written by : Ashwini Seeram (Intern)
Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi