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Supreme Court Seeks Responses on Intersex Surgery Issue, Notices Issued to Centre and Others

In response to a plea seeking judicial intervention regarding intersex surgeries at birth, the Supreme Court of India has requested responses from the Centre, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), and other concerned parties.

The bench, comprised of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, acknowledged the submissions presented by the petitioner’s counsel, Gopi Shankar M, a resident of Madurai. Shankar emphasized that intersex individuals, upon reaching adulthood, face challenges such as not being recognized as voters.

The petition raised concerns about intersex children being subjected to unregulated sex change surgeries without their consent, aimed at assigning them a male or female identity at birth.

Highlighting the urgency of the matter, the petitioner’s lawyer argued that such medical interventions are considered punishable offenses in various jurisdictions and advocated for legislation to halt these practices.

Responding to the plea, the bench issued notices and requested Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati to provide assistance in the hearing of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

The PIL has named several Union ministries, including Home Affairs, Social Justice and Empowerment, Health and Family Welfare, Law and Justice, and Women and Child Development, as respondents. Additionally, the Registrar General, the Census Commissioner of India, and CARA have also been included as parties to the plea.

It is noteworthy that in 2019, Tamil Nadu introduced legislation to prohibit such surgeries within the state, following an order from the Madras High Court. The High Court had ruled that unless in life-threatening situations, such surgeries should be strictly prohibited.

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