Assam gets its first transgender judge in Swati Bidhan Baruah, who is a transgender activist. In a time when people from the LGBT community in this country are facing identity crisis and discrimination, Swati might just become the role model this community needs.
Swati will be mediating pre-litigation cases, concerning finance companies being heard by a bench, headed by retired district and sessions judge H. Ali Hazarika, as mentioned the New Indian Express report.
She hails from the Assam’s capital city of Dispur and is one of the 20 judges who will be in charge of cases in the Lok Adalat in Guwahati.
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
In 2012, she was in the news because after facing opposition from family for her decision to undergo a sex reassignment surgery, she approached the Bombay High Court and later after the surgery, she changed her name to Swati.
After Joyita Mondal of West Bengal and Vidya Kamble of Maharashtra, Baruah becomes the third transgender judge to be appointed to the Indian judiciary. While Joyita was the first one to achieve this feat last year, Vidya was appointed as a member judge in Nagpur in February this year.
When the mindset of this nation is gendered, there are high chances that people belonging to this community are identified as an incorrect male or female. While talking to ANI, Baruah said her appointment will set a landmark to accept the community as part of the society.
“The capacity and capability of transgender people must be recognized and they must be provided with ample opportunities 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 added, as mentioned by PTI report.