The court in Guwahati has got the first transgender judge of Assam. Swati Bidhan Baruah has been appointed as a judge to mediate cases in Lok Adalat, becoming the first transgender judge in Assam judiciary.
Reacting to the appointment, the judge told news agency ANI, "There's a lot of discrimination prevailing in society and steps like these will set landmark to accept transgenders as part of society."
Guwahati: Swati B Baruah becomes the first transgender judge in Assam. She has been appointed as a judge to mediate cases in a Lok Adalat, says, "There's a lot of discrimination prevailing in society&steps like these will set landmark to accept transgenders as part of society." pic.twitter.com/SiUYmknYh4
— ANI (@ANI) July 14, 2018
"The capacity and capability of transgenders must be recognised and they must be provided with ample oppourtunities to ensure that they can lead a dignified life. I hope that I am able to maintain the principle of natural justice as a judge as lok adalats deal with settlement outside the court through arbitration, conciliation and mediation," she had earlier told news agency PTI.
Baruah is a part of group of 20 judges who were deputed to mediate Lok Adalat cases.
Baruah has become the third transgender judge in India, with two others in West Bengal and Maharashtra judiciaries. India’s first transgender judge is Joyita Mondal, who joined West Bengal judiciary in 2017. Later in February 2018, Vidya Kamble was appointed a judge in Maharashtra.
However, the journey has not been smooth for Baruah. The judge had in 2012 given a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking a nod to undego a sex reassignment surgery. The move was reportedly opposed by her family. In 2017, she had also moved the Gauhati High Court.