Plea Filed in Delhi HC Challenging Mandatory Sex-Change Certificate for Passport Reissuance to Trans Person

Lasya Kahli Singh, a trans woman, has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against the insistence of a sex-reassignment certificate by the passport office to issue her a passport with her desired name and gender.

“Insistence on sex reassignment surgery in order for an individual to identify or change their sex/gender is unnecessary and violative of the choice of the individual with respect to undergoing a surgical procedure to reflect the transition,” the petition states, according to a report in LiveLaw.

Lasya, who is undergoing a sex-reassignment, had applied for a name and gender change in her documents – PAN and AADHAR card, and had received her updated documents. But when she applied to get the passport in her new identity, she was asked to submit a sex-reassignment certificate by a surgeon in order to get a Passport with her desired gender (as per Entry in Serial Number 39 in Table 3 of the Passport Rules, 1980).

Her letters to 6 authorities at the Regional Passport Office too elicited no response, after which she filed a plea in the Delhi High Court as she needs to travel to Thailand for her surgery.

Her petition points out that asking her for any document regarding her SRS would be in violation of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

The High Court has sought a reply from the Centre.

Sukhdeep Singh