The Delhi High Court was informed by the Indian Navy on Wednesday that it had offered a private job to a sailor sacked for undergoing sex change surgery. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and the central government’s standing counsel Anil Soni, appearing for the Navy, told a division bench of Justice G.S. Sistani and Justice V.K. Rao that it could facilitate for the ex-sailor a job as data entry operator in a private company, which works for the government.
After Senior Advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the ex-sailor, told the bench that the job offered paid much less compared with his naval job and sought time to talk to his client, the court posted the matter for further hearing on December 15. Manish Kumar Giri, 25, who has since changed his name to Sabi Giri, was discharged from service in October. The court was hearing Giri’s plea for court directions for reinstatement in the same rank and pay in the Navy.
Calling for a “change in mindset”, the bench had called for a lenient view due to the nature of the issue involved and asked the Navy to consider if it can accommodate her on a clerical post. The plea had also challenged Section 9 of The Navy Act that allows for the enrollment of only male sailors and limited entry for women sailors in specific departments, but has no provision for enrollment of transgender sailors.
In October 2016, Giri took three weeks leave to undergo sex realignment surgery in Delhi. The petitioner rejoined the naval job on the stipulated date but pretended nothing had changed. It was only when the sailor suffered a urinary tract infection that the Navy doctors found out about the surgery at a civil hospital. The plea said the petitioner was suffering from gender identity issues since 2011 and his parents forced him to marry a woman when he told them of the problem. The couple had a child.