K Prithika Yashini is set to become the first transgender police officer in India after winning a prolonged court battle to gain eligibility to be recruited to the sub-inspector (SI) post.
The 25-year-old, born and brought up as Pradeep Kumar, had undergone gender reassignment surgery.
She applied for the SI post in February, but was rejected on the ground that the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) doesn't have a third gender category.
Unwilling to give up, she moved the Madras High Court, which allowed her in various stages of the selection process, including the written examination, physical endurance test and viva-voice through interim orders.
However, she had to approach the court again as the state police recruitment board rejected her citing various reasons.
On Thursday, the First Bench, consisting of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, directed the board to recruit Prithika as SI and include transgenders as a "third category" in future recruitment processes.
"The social impact of such recruitment cannot be lost sight of, as this would give strength to the case of transgenders. We are thus of the view that the petitioner is entitled to be recruited as SI with the hope that she would carry out the duties with dedication and commitment to advance the cause of other transgenders," The Hindu quoted the Bench as saying.
In May this year, Manabi Banerjee (Bandhopadhyay) became the first transgender principal in India. Like Prithika, she had also undergone gender reassignment surgery.