In a path-breaking ruling, the Madras high court on Monday held that the term ‘bride’ as per the Hindu Marriage Act would also mean a transsexual, and not just refer to someone born as a woman. The court also ordered the state government to issue an order banning sex reassignment surgeries on inter-sex infants and children.
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Justice GR Swaminathan, quoting from the Supreme Court judgments and epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, said the expression ‘bride’ in the Hindu Marriage Act could not have a static or immutable meaning.
Holding that the expression ‘bride’ would have to include not only a woman, but also a transwoman, the judge directed the authorities to register a marriage between Arun Kumar and Sreeja, a transwoman.