The Delhi High Court asked the Indian Navy if a sailor who was discharged after a sex change operation could be given another posting, The News Minute reported on Tuesday. Sabi Giri had moved the Delhi High Court on Monday.

The Indian Navy sailor from Visakhapatnam was sacked from service on October 9, after she had a sex change surgery. Sabi Giri, born Manish Kumar Giri, was discharged for “breaching recruitment regulations and eligibility criteria”. The Indian Navy restricts recruitment of women to certain departments. The post Giri held before her sex change surgery was only designated for men.

A bench of Justice GS Sistani and Justice V Kameswar Rao called for a “change in mindset”. The bench said this was a rare case in the armed forces and that Giri was suffering a gender identity crisis.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the government and Navy, said their position was not judgmental about transgenders. “We respect their choice but Sabi was discharged from service as part of a policy decision of the Navy,” Jain said.

The bench said it would not interfere with the Navy’s policy decisions, Bar & Bench reported. But it pointed out how, when a fighter pilot gets injured while on duty, he is given a ground posting. The bench asked if something similar could be done for Giri.

In her petition, Sabi Giri challenged the validity of Section 9 of the Navy Act, 1957, which allows enrolment of only male sailors, and said the Navy “violated her fundamental rights to equality, nondiscrimination, freedom of gender expression” by discharging her.

The court will hear the matter again on November 23.