New Delhi: Voluntary castration is not an offence, a Delhi court has said while acquitting two persons of the charges of forcibly castrating a man as the victim had himself opted for emasculation for securing 'badhai' rights which are available only with transgenders.
The court also termed it "ironical and hypocritical" that in India while a male gets himself castrated with the sole purpose of achieving monetary gains by acquiring the 'badhai' rights, suggestion of giving castration as punishment to serial rapists evokes strong sentiments.
"... The mere mention of castration (chemical or surgical) as a form of punishment for serial rapist and paedophiles, evokes strong sentiments and kicks up an intellectual storm by terming it as Talibanic and barbaric, despite its legalisation in the so-called civil world," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
"The law as it stands, of now, is that emasculation/ castration of a male by his own volition and consent is not an offence and it is only a forcible emasculation/ castration which is an offence," the court said.
In the custom of 'badhai', transgenders or eunuchs sing, dance and confer blessings and the power to confer blessings on people on auspicious occasions like childbirth and marriage was given to them by Lord Rama, the court noted in its verdict.
It added that the country should not encourage such regressive practices of collection of 'badhai' traditionally stereotyped to a particular gender i.E. Eunuchs or transgenders which are required to be immediately banned in terms of the established law.
The court gave benefit of doubt and acquitted accused Bobby and Khalibuddin, who were listed in a charge sheet by Delhi Police for allegedly conniving with complainant Ramesh to get him castrated.
Co-accused Lalita, Ram Babu, Lakshmi and Shobha, all belonging to transgender or eunuch community, were discharged by the court earlier of the charges of conspiring and castrating Ramesh with an intention that it may lead to his death.