Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the state government whether an amendment could be made to the Maharashtra police manual to sensitise the police force on how to deal with transgender and homosexual persons.
A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Gauri Godse also asked the inspector general (IG), Prisons, of Maharashtra to find a solution regarding the treatment of transgender and homosexual persons lodged in prisons.
Petition by Lesbian couple after threat
The HC was hearing a petition filed by a lesbian couple seeking protection following a threat from the family of one of them, who was against their relationship.
During the last hearing, the HC had asked the couple's advocate Vijay Hiremath to see if any guidelines could be framed on the issue.
On Friday, Hiremath informed the court that in a similar matter before the Madras High Court, pursuant to the high court, the central prisons in Tamil Nadu were conducting sensitisation programmes for the LGBTQIA+ community with the help of its members.
The bench then queried whether any amendment to this effect can be made in the state police manual in Maharashtra.
Hiremath replied that the office of IG, Prisons, was competent to give suggestions to bring about an amendment in the Bombay Police manual.
Next hearing on Aug 11
The HC then asked the petitioners to add IG, Prisons, as respondent to the petition. It also directed a competent police officer to inform on the next hearing if any appropriate amendment can be added to the police manual to ensure there is no discrimination against persons of a specific community. The HC has kept the matter for hearing on August 11.
The couple, aged 28 and 32 years, met on social media in 2020. They decided to live together in April this year. On April 13, the woman from outside Maharashtra left her home and came to her friend’s place in the state. The latter’s parents accepted their relationship. However, the other’s parents filed a missing complaint and allegedly threatened her to return home.
While directing the police to provide protection on request, the HC has remarked: “Such incidents are not limited to one or two police stations but are there in the entire state.”
Cops must have knowledge about it
IG Prisons to find solution for those lodged in jails
Petition filed by lesbian couple
Couple sought protection
IG Prisons office competent to give suggestions