HomeLawSupreme Court of India announces gender-neutral restrooms; LGBTQIA+ inclusiveness

Supreme Court of India announces gender-neutral restrooms; LGBTQIA+ inclusiveness

In a historic move towards LGBTQIA+ inclusiveness, the Supreme Court of India announced on Wednesday that it is constructing nine gender-neutral toilets on its property. Additionally, gender neutrality was included for the advocates’ online appearance site. The effort, which was given the go-ahead by Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, aims to review organisational and physical development strategies for promoting inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community. According to a statement issued by the court, the change aims to maintain a respectable working atmosphere at the supreme court.

The Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee, which has 11 members, has been added to the Supreme Court, according to prominent attorney and homosexual rights campaigner Menaka Guruswamy. Rohin Bhatt, a 24-year-old non-binary queer rights advocate and attorney, has asked the court to rename the body to the “Gender and Sexuality Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee.”

Following Bhatt’s letter to the CJI in December of last year, which asked for changes in the supreme court to stop claims of prejudice against the LGBTQ community, these developments took place. Bhatt also asked the CJI to change the appearance slips used by attorneys at the Supreme Court, asking for the creation of a new column for specifying people’s pronouns so that they might be used accurately in the court’s orders and rulings.

On March 22, 2018, Bhatt submitted a letter to Justice Hima Kohli, the chair of the Supreme Court’s Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee, requesting “infrastructural inclusivity” and gay participation on the committee. Bhatt had brought up the concern that as more and more queer attorneys join the bar, it becomes vital to have an infrastructure in place to give them assistance, referring to the Bar Council of Kerala enrolling its first transgender lawyer.

With this endeavour, the Supreme Court has given a message that equality is non-negotiable and that the court would also practise what it preaches, according to Bhatt, who was speaking about the responsibility of the court in fostering inclusion.

Source credit: The Print

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