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Girl-Transman Marriage Case: Neha Divorces Husband To Save Him From ‘Police Harassment’

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In contrast to media reports regarding an alleged ‘same-sex’ marriage between two women, Naya Daur has learned that Akash Ali, who is being portrayed as a woman, is actually a transgender man.

In a response submitted to the court, Neha maintained Akash was a man in accordance with the laws of Pakistan and there was ‘nothing un-Islamic about the wedding’. Such rumours were being spread to incite violence against the couple, Akash and Neha, the document stated.

According to Neha, “Mr Akash is a transgender man and not a woman. He married to save me from the tyranny and oppression of my family.”

She further informed the Lahore High Court that she had taken a divorce from Akash as they could never ‘live together in peace’.  “I proposed divorce to him and have since been divorced so that the harassment he and his family had been subjected to by police, my family and media would come to an end,” she added, asking the court to dismiss the petition now that both are divorced.

The divorce was finalised on July 30, she added.

About the medical examination of Akash, she said it would be violation of her former husband’s private life and dignity. It would also hurt her dignity, said Neha.

The court, however, on Friday put Akash’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) for his reluctance to go under a medical test and absence from the court. It also ordered police to escort Neha to Darul Aman, Rawalpindi, even though the girl, who is 16-year-old, feared she would be harmed by her family if she was to be sent to Rawalpindi.

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While commenting on the case, Neha’s lawyer who wish not to be named said that the entire procedure was wrong, as the petition filed by Neha’s family was about Habeus Corpus. And after Neha appeared in the court and admitted that she had married out of her will, the matter should have been settled. However, the court has now put Akash on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Neha’s lawyer says the court cannot put Akash– who is undergoing a sex reassignment surgery that is lengthy process– on ECL nor can it ask for a medical test of the said person because that’d be tantamount to transgressing its domain in the said case. If the petitioner wanted Akash to be tested, they would have to file a case under Hudood Ordinance, the counsel said.

Moreover, the medical test could not be performed in light of the Transgender Rights Bill 2018. The law says ‘gender identity means innermost and individual sense of self as male, female or a blend of both or neither that can correspond or not to the sex assigned at birth’.

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Naya Daur