Judge sends petitioners, their parents for counselling
Justice N. Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court on Tuesday wrote that he was trying to break his own preconceived notions about same sex relationships and was in the process of evolving and sincerely attempting to understand the feelings of people involved in such relationships and also that of their parents to whom such relationships involving their children come as a rude shock.
Passing interim orders on a petition filed by two young women with same sex orientation, the judge decided to send the petitioners and their parents for counselling to an expert working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and obtain a report. Such a report would help the court in proceeding with the case complaining of harassment by the petitioners’ parents, he said.
“I personally spent time doing research and collecting materials to arrive at a proper understanding of this issue. It would have been possible for me to pack my order with a lot of research material and get applauded by the outside world for rendering a scholarly order. However, there was a call from inside which kept reminding me that if I venture into such an exercise at this stage, it will only be hypocritical of me since the order will not reveal my true and honest feeling about this very important issue,” he said.
“To be open, I am also trying to break my own preconceived notions about this issue and I am in the process of evolving and sincerely attempting to understand the feelings of the petitioners and their parents. Thereafter, I shall proceed to write a detailed order on this issue. That is the reason why I am trying to develop this case brick by brick and ultimately construct something purposeful on this issue,” the judge wrote.
After talking to the petitioners and parents in-camera, the judge recorded that the petitioners were graduates from Madurai Kamaraj University and they had fled to Chennai due to police complaints lodged by their parents. Now, they were under the care of a non-governmental organisation, International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care, and were looking for jobs to sustain themselves financially.
The petitioners did not mince words while explaining their relationship to the judge and insisted that they preferred to reside together. Hence, the judge requested psychologist Vidya Dinakaran to hold counselling sessions with them and their parents in the third week of April and submit a report to the court by April 26. He recorded the submission of the Madurai police that they would not pursue the woman missing complaints by the petitioner’s parents.