Sumit Baudh Sumit: University of California Human Right Fellow 2014, Sumit Baudh is a candidate in the Doctor of Juridical Science program at the UCLA School of Law.
“Law at the Intersection of Caste, Gender and Sexuality”
For the first time, the census of 2011 counted a population "other" than male or female in India. Sumit Baudh takes a cue from this and traces the legal invisibility of other Dalits. After all, Suresh Kumar Kaushal v. Naz Foundation (2013) is still pending in the Supreme Court. And in that case, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Section 377, Indian Penal Code, a colonial era law that criminalizes all forms of consensual non-procreative sex. Merely four months later, another Supreme Court judgment, National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India (2014) has granted legal recognition to transgender persons. A combined reading of the two judgments is puzzling because – one creates protected category for transgender persons like hijras, while the other places them within the purview of criminality. These judgments are also making analogous comparisons of LGBT persons with Dalit and tribal groups. This sets the stage for a critical study of law at the intersection of caste, gender and sexuality.