Gender-Neutral Bathrooms In SC: LGBTQIA On Gender Sensitization Committee

A lawyer named Rohin Bhatt has today written to the Chairperson of the Supreme Court that Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee, Justice Hima Kohli put a slew of demands on the LGBTQIA+ community.

Urging the Top Court for ‘infrastructural inclusivity’, he requested gender-neutral bathrooms on every floor of the complex. Significantly, he has also demanded ‘queer representation’ in the Committed along with expansion in its scope from being a ‘Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee’ to a ‘Gender and Sexuality Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee’.

He pointed out that of 11 members currently on the Committee, there is no representation of the LGBTQIA+ community, both from the bar or the bench.

Citing the enrolment of Padma Lakshmi, a transwoman in the Kerala State Bar Council, he stated that with every passing day, more and more lawyers who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community are joining the bar.

He stated in the letter that “While more queer lawyers are joining the bar, it becomes important to have the infrastructure in place to provide infrastructural support queer lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court. To envision a truly inclusive bar for the future, the Supreme Court must revisit the modes of organizational and spatial development that successfully resist homophobia/transphobia and their intersections with misogyny, casteism, racism, cultural chauvinism, and xenophobia.”

He thus prayed to Justice Kohli to widen the scope of gender and sexuality sensitization in the Supreme Court.

This is not the first initiative by Bhatt in the interest of the LGBTQIA+ community as he previously written to the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud with a demand seeking modification in the Supreme Court appearance slips so as to include an additional column where Lawyers’ pronouns can be added.

He contended that such a small step will go a long way in improving the experience of trans lawyers, gender non-conforming, and gender-diverse lawyers with the legal system.

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About the Author: Meera Verma