Assam will see its first transgender judge mediate cases in a national Lok Adalat in Guwahati on Saturday. The Kamrup (metro) district legal service authority has appointed Swati Bidhan Baruah among 20 member judges. Baruah, 26, had filed a PIL in Gauhati High Court last year prompting steps by the State government for a policy for welfare of the third gender.
The bench will be presided over by H Ali Hazarika, a retired district and session’s judge to mediate cases in a Lok Adalat. Cases pending in family courts, motor accidents claims tribunals, labour courts and others would be disposed of during the Lok Adalat.
In July of last year, Bengal appointed Joyita Mondal as the country’s first transgender judge. She was appointed as a member judge during a national Lok Adalat at Islampur in North Dinajpur district. In February of this year, Maharashtra appointed Vidya Kamble, the State’s first transgender judge who joined as a member judge in a Lok Adalat in Nagpur.
Baruah’s appointment as a member judge in the Lok Adalat will surely be a ray of hope to over 5,500 strong transgender community in Assam, but Baruah feels she will consider her mission complete only when she sees more transgenders in the State employed in regular jobs and not facing discrimination