A 28-year-old man, who underwent a sex change surgery to become a woman, was denied a cabin crew job by Air India allegedly on the grounds of her gender.

What happened?

Shanavi Ponnusamy had undergone a sex change surgery in 2014 to become a woman. She is now treated as a transgender.
She alleged that she was denied the job due to her gender and challenged this decision in the Supreme Court.
During the proceedings, the SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, was told by Air India that the reason behind her non-selection was not her sex. The reason was that she had failed to score the required minimum of 55% in her personality test and group dynamics (PT & GD), AI said. She scored 51, reported India Today.

What do the two parties say?

Air India claimed that she was not discriminated against and was given a fair opportunity as a woman in the female category.

According to Air India’s affidavit, “She has filed this writ petition with a malicious intent to arm twist us and gain forceful employment which she was otherwise unable to achieve on the basis of merit.”

Read Also: Assam Becomes The Third State To Get A Transgender Judge

Shanavi said there was no option to apply as a transgender. She said that even though it was Air India’s policy not to give job to transgenders, the things should have changed after the 2014 SC judgment in the NALSA case.

The third gender

SC’s judgment had recognized the rights of transgenders as a third gender. The April 2014 ruling gave them legal rights as well as ordered reservation in jobs for them.

In the judgment, SC had said, “The right to choose one’s gender identity is an essential part to lead a life with dignity which again falls under the ambit of Article 21.”

Shanavi also quoted the civil aviation ministry who said that “transgender category does not exist in the recruitment policy and as such her case is closed”.

Senior advocate Anand Grover and Sunil Fernandes are handling Shanavi’s case.

“We will soon amend our petition to challenge Air India’s PT and GD rules which are discriminatory against transgender,” said Grover.

Read Also : Punjab Appoints First Transgender Member In Lok Adalat

Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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