- The Madras High Court recently observed in a case that the prosecution was right in registering the case under TamilNadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 2002 against the Accused, as defacto Complainant/Victim(Transgender) named Neka views herself as a woman.
- The Bench of Justice G. R. Swaminathan was hearing the plea (filed under S. 482 CrPC)of the Petitioner-Accused booked under Sections 294(b) and 506(i) of I.P.C. andSection 4 of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 2002.
- The Case is titled as M. Srinivasan v. State & Neka [Crl.O.P(MD) No.11848 of 2020 and Crl.M.P.(MD) Nos. 5454 and 5457 of 2020]
HISTORY OF THE CASE
- The Petitioner-Accused is the owner of a lodge and the second respondent (Neka) stayed in one of the rooms of the lodge owned by the Petitioner-Accused.
- The case of the defacto complainant (Neka) is that on the occurrence date, the Petitioner-Accused had barged into her room and when the same was questioned, he had abused her in filthy language.
- The petitioner's counsel contended before the Court that the complainant is a transgender person and that therefore itwas not open to the prosecution to invoke the provisions of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 2002.
WHAT WAS THE COURT’S DECISION?
- The Court observed that the Supreme Court, in the case of National Legal Services Authority Vs. Union of India (2014) 5 SCC 483,had held that it is entirely for the transgender person to self-identify her gender and that this self-determination cannot be questioned by others.
- Further, the Court observed,“In the case of hand, the defacto complainant/Neka views herself as a woman.Therefore, the prosecution rightly accepted the said self-identification and registered the case under Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 2002. Therefore, I find no merit in the contention of the petitioner's counsel that invocation of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 2002, is not maintainable.”
- Thus, the criminal original petition was dismissed by the Court.
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