The Bombay High Court Thursday refused to hear a petition filed by Beed police constable Lalita Salve, who is seeking a month’s medical leave from work for undergoing sex reassignment surgery. It has now directed her to approach the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT).
“We do not think that the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal would be unsympathetic to the petitioner’s grievances. We have never seen in any case the tribunal brushing aside matters without proper application of mind and without hearing all the parties concerned,” the court said.
Salve has sought a month’s leave to undergo sex reassignment surgery, but the request has been refused by Beed police authorities. She filed a petition in the High Court last week, seeking a direction to Maharashtra’s director general of police (DGP) to grant her leave for the surgery. A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharti Dangre Thursday disposed of the petition and said this was a service matter and, hence, the petitioner will have to first approach the tribunal.
The court refused to accept Salve’s lawyer Ejaz Naqvi’s contention that the matter also pertains to the fundamental rights of a person.