Beed woman cop's medical tests showed she had underdeveloped male genitalia

Updated: 23 November, 2017 18:17 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Tests showed Salve had high levels of Y chromosome and presence of underdeveloped male genitalia

Constable Lalita Salve, looking to undergo a sex reassignment surgery, had done her research before writing to her superiors for leave — she had consulted a gynaecologist, psychologist and a plastic surgeon from a South Mumbai hospital well-known for doing such supra major sex change surgeries. As per records available, Salve had visited the gynaecology OPD at JJ hospital on June 23, 2016, around 10.41 am and had been examined by a junior resident under Dr Rekha Davar, the HoD then.

Lalita Salve
Lalita Salve

The first visit

Sources attached to JJ recalled Salve not carrying any files or reports, and had got a case paper made there and then, indicating it was her first visit. A junior doctor, who was attached to the Grant medical college and privy to this case, said, "The lady was keen to undergo the sex reassignment surgery. We found that she had underdeveloped male genitalia." "As per the protocol, we advised her to get a karyotype (a test to identify and evaluate the size, shape and number of chromosomes in samples of body cells) and an MRI of the abdomen and pelvis done. She was directed to revisit the OPD and referred to the cosmetic surgery department," the doctor added.

"However, she never returned. No committee of doctors had been set up to evaluate her case, nor was she referred to the psychiatry department."

Lalita Salve had done her research before writing to her superiors for leave
Lalita Salve had done her research before writing to her superiors for leave

Chromosomal evidence
Interestingly, it was found later that Salve had got a karyotype done in Beed two years before her JJ visit, on July 26, and the report had stated "presence of 'y' chromosome noted (male karyotype) along with presence of satellite on shortarm of chromosome 21". The report's conclusion read "46, XY, 21PS+". According to the gynaecologist, a normal karyotype for women contains two X chromosomes and is denoted as 46, XX; for men, it's 46, XY. When asked if it could be since birth and if early detection could have helped to tackle the case better, the gynaecologist replied in the affirmative and said, "Usually, such surgeries, if done by the time the child reaches early puberty level, will make a lot of difference."

Also read: Beed woman cop who wants to undergo sex change fears for her job

Call me Lalit
In her application Salve had requested the top bosses to consider her as a male constable 'Lalit', instead of Lalita. A senior IPS officer said, "Salve was a 2009 batch recruit. She was inducted in the force a year later, after her training at Khandala's police training centre, as a female constable, as per recruitment rules and reservation (30 per cent for women as per directives from the women and child ministry)." "We have concessions for female candidates — her height is 162.5 cm, whereas the minimum required for men is 165 cm. Hence, we rejected the plea and sent the file back," the officer added.

When asked if this case would bring about any changes in recruitment rules, the officer replied in the negative. "This is the first case in the history of Maharashtra Police, and rules never change with one isolated case. If she is keen to get the surgery done, she may do so of her own will or approach the court."

Legal recourse
Salve's lawyer Dr Syed Ejaz Abbas Naqvi had said he planned to move a writ petition in the Bombay High Court, challenging the rejection of her plea. But with the CM intervening and directing senior officers that her application be accepted, moving court may not be necessary after all. Dr Naqvi said he had been in talks with Beed's SP for over a month and other than assurances nothing had happened. "We wanted to get the surgery done discreetly, but when there was no response from the SP, I had to take a legal stand," he added. The SP, G Sreedhar, however, denied giving any assurances to Salve or her family. He admitted that he had met her in his office in Beed on three occasions with her uncle, and as there were no provisions in law to handle such a request, the application was forwarded to the state headquarters for superiors' advice.

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First Published: 23 November, 2017 18:15 IST

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