MNLU Mumbai | Panel Discussion on experience of Trans Persons in the legal space

About the Literary and Debating Society (LDS)

The Literary and Debating Society aims to foster an active parliamentary debate culture in the university and to provide every student with a platform to engage in fruitful academic discussions about pertinent issues through Group Discussions and Debates. It also aspires to promote a conducive environment for free-flow of creativity through literary and artistic expressions, by organizing events like Poetry Nights and the Mother Language Day Celebration.


About the Centre for Human Rights and Duties (CHRD)

CHRD aims to be a democratic body of Human Rights & Duties enthusiasts across all domains of knowledge to spearhead, undertake and promote research, learning and meaningful social engagements in the field of Human Rights & Duties. It provides a platform for shaping human rights discourse in collaboration with students, researchers, academia, governmental and non-governmental organizations at international, national, regional and local levels.


About the Panel Discussion

Topic: “Experiences of Trans Persons in the Legal Space”

Through this panel, we are hoping to initiate a much-needed conversation on how legal spaces – law schools, courtrooms, legal advocacy, legal research spaces, and so on – are structured on patriarchal and cissexual norms. The lived experiences of trans persons reveal how these spaces leave them highly vulnerable, marginalised, and/ or outright excluded. In this context, we hope that a panel discussion would help us move towards trying to think about the structural reforms that these legal spaces would need to make them more survivable for trans individuals.


About the Panelists:

  1. Ankan Biswas: A practicing advocate in the Calcutta High Court, he is the first trans person to be empanelled as a lawyer for the State Legal Services Authority in West Bengal. He also works with HRLN.

  1. Meera Sanghamitra: A member of the Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti (THITS), she is the convenor of the National Alliance of People’s Movements and serves on the Governing Board of organizations like the Humsafar, Support Centre for Women (Lucknow), Bindrai Institute for Research, Study and Action (BIRSA), Ranchi. She has also received the Gorrepati Narendranath Memorial Fellowship (2018), offered by the Centre for Equity Studies. She is associated with campaigns for judicial accountability, right to education, women’s and transgender rights, social justice, etc.

  1. Satyashri Sharmila: A practicing advocate in Madras, she is the first transwoman to be registered with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

  1. Swati Bidhan Baruah: An advocate at the Guwahati High Court, they are the founder of the All-Assam Transgender Association and are the Associate Vice Chairperson of the Transgender Welfare Board, Govt. of Assam. Their petition challenging certain provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

About the Moderator:

Kanmani Ray: She is currently a Research Associate at the Centre for Justice, Law and Society, Jindal Global University and interested in working around issues of health, access to education, public transport & housing in the context of gender & sexual minorities, and hopes to teach while practicing law.

Date: 28th November 2021

Time: 2:00 – 3:30 P.M.

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