Come Saturday and Assam will see its first transgender judge mediate cases in a national Lok Adalat in Guwahati.
Swati Bidhan Baruah has been appointed by the Kamrup (Metro) district legal service authority among 20 member judges to mediate cases in a Lok Adalat.
The Lok Adalat will be held on the premises of Kamrup (metro) district and session’s judge here. The bench will be presided over by H Ali Hazarika, a retired district and sessions judge, as per reports.
Transgender activist Baruah will act as the mediator in pre-litigation cases related to finance companies, as per reports.
As per reports, cases pending in the family courts, motor accidents claims tribunals, labour courts among other would be disposed of during the Lok Adalat.
“Transgenders are still taunted and abused in the public places. I hope my appointment will make people realize that the transgenders are not untouchables,” said Baruah.
In 2012, Baruah moved the Bombay High Court after her decision to undergo a sex reassignment surgery was opposed by her family and changed her name to Swati.
As per a report, there are over 5,000 transgenders in Assam. Her appointment as a member judge in the Lok Adalat came as a hope for all those who are facing discrimination and struggling for an identity.
After Baruah filed a PIL in the Gauhati High Court in 2017 seeking its intervention for a state policy for transgenders, the Assam government has informed the court that a committee will study problems faced by transgenders in the state to formulate a policy for their welfare. Baruah is also the leader of the All Assam Transgenders Association.
West Bengal appointed Joyita Mondal as the country’s first transgender judge in July 2017. And in February this year, Maharashtra appointed Vidya Kamble as a member judge in a Lok Adalat in Nagpur. Kamble is Maharashtra’s first transgender judge.