In the NALSA judgment, the Supreme Court recognised that the right to choose one’s gender identity was enshrined within Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
As per the 2019 Act, the government is duty-bound to provide for medical care, including paying for surgery and hormonal therapy, of persons who want to undergo sex reassignment.
In Neha Singh’s case, an Allahabad High Court Bench presided by Justice Ajit Kumar has also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to submit an affidavit on whether it has framed any rules or Act in compliance with directions issued by the Supreme Court in NALSA.
Justice Ajit Kumar observed that if modern society does not acknowledge the vested right in a person to choose their gender, we would only be encouraging gender identity disorder syndrome.
“At times such a problem may be fatal as such a person may suffer from the disorder, anxiety, depression, negative self-image, dislike of one’s sexual anatomy.
“If psychological interventions to alleviate such distress as above fail, surgical intervention should become a must and should be encouraged,” Justice Kumar said.
The petitioner stated that they find in themselves all the traits of a male personality and have always had an urge to develop nearness with females as opposed to her physical characteristics of a female.
The judgment also records that Neha claims to have a feeling of being a male trapped in a female body.
Accordingly, Justice Kumar observed:“One should not have any doubt that if a person suffers from gender dysphoria and except for physical structure, she has feelings and traits of the opposite sex so much so that such a person takes a complete misalignment of her personality with physical body, such a person does possess a constitutionally recognised right to get his/her gender changed though surgical intervention.”
The court has directed the DGP to decide on the application and file a compliance report before it.