The Bombay High Court has assured police protection to a 23-year-old trans person who approached the court, claiming they were being forced to return home by some family members. While the court directed Mumbai police to protect the petitioner against the threats to their life and liberty enlisted in the plea, it also warned the police to not help the family in the coercion based on a missing person complaint.
As per the petitioner, their parents who are based in a South Indian city, are not comfortable with their gender identity or their ambitions to pursue a career in Mumbai. They came to the city in January after landing up job offers in their field. Their family, meanwhile, registered a missing complaint with the local police.
Back then, officers of Mumbai Police asked them to return home as the police from their hometown had sought help from their city counterparts. Their family members who were also present extorted them to come home on the pretext that their mother was unwell. Once home, the family performed some rituals and were fixing a forced marriage on the petitioner. They returned to Mumbai with the help of an NGO in March.
In their plea, they told the court that they were living in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety, afraid of their family's actions to bring them home this time. They sought protection from the court on these grounds.
Acknowledging the rights of the petitioner to move anywhere in the country as an independent adult, the division bench consisting of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamdar warned the police not to take any coercive action aginst them, while also providing them protection to ensure they are not taken away by the family against their will.