A division bench of the Calcutta High Court without making a direct reference has observed that the society at large should be sensitive about people with different sexual orientation.
“Certain things might appear different in the current social structure and if that difference is evident in any individual the society should be sensitive and get adapted to those changes,” Calcutta High Court’s division bench Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty and Justice Raja Basu Chowdhury observed in a ‘habeas corpus’ case relating to a woman with different sexual orientation and her parents.
The woman concerned, a college student having inclination to same- sex relationship, became a medium of ridicule for her relatives, following which her parents’ faced questions from different sections of the society, including neighbours and blood relations. Unable to bear these questions and apparent social stigma, the parents arranged for her marriage.
With a feeling that the marriage would be another disaster for her as well as her would- be spouse, the woman left home and started residing at an NGO-run home in South Kolkata.
The parents reached that home with the police. However, the woman refused to go with her parents. Instead, she gave a written declaration to the police that she, being an adult, voluntarily decided to stay at the NGO-run home and no one had put pressure on her to do so. She also mentioned in the written declaration that she voluntarily decided to stay away from her ancestral residence, unable to bear the pressure of ridicules from neighbours and blood- relations.
The parents approached the division bench of the Calcutta High Court. In the court also the woman clearly said that she did not want to stay with her parents. After examining all related documents as well as the police report, the division bench dismissed the habeas corpus case filed in this connection by the parents.
At the same time, the division bench observed that the society should be sensitive about the feelings of the person concerned in such cases. At the same time, the division bench also observed it is unjust for anyone to totally get isolated from the parents who had faced immense hardship in his or her upbringing and that behaviour too goes against the social values.
Speaking to IANS, the counsel for the petitioner and senior counsel of the Calcutta High Court, Kaushik Gupta said that he is extremely happy that the division bench has upheld individual rights as regards to gender identity or sexual preference.