Uttaranchal High Court: A division bench comprising of Manoj Kumar Tiwari, J. and Rajiv Sharma, ACJ., directed the state to implement schemes for the welfare of transgenders.
Petitioners who are transgender were facing interference in their area of operation to which they have sought protection with respect to life and liberty. Hence the Court took judicial notice of the matter as it revolved around right to life by providing a dignified life to the petitioners owing to the miseries faced by them in order to bring them at par with other people in the society by paving their way to the mainstream.
The Supreme Court, in the case of National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, (2014) 5 SCC 438 has held the word “person” in Article 14 of the Constitution of India was not restricted to male and female and it includes even Hijras/Transgender persons who were also entitled to equal protection of laws and equality in all spheres. They were entitled to benefits as Socially and Educationally Backward class citizens including reservation in public employment. Gender identity was part of the right to dignity as well as personal autonomy and self-expression and thus declared that Hijras, Eunuchs be treated as the third gender giving them a legal recognition.
It was stated that the State Government, till date, has not implemented the directions issued by the Supreme Court. It was also brought to the Court’s notice that the State of Odisha has framed a scheme for Promotion of Transgender Equality & Justice. The scheme speaks of medical assistance to the parents of transgenders.
In the light of the facts and the issues stated the Court gave the following directions:
- State Government shall provide reservation in admission in educational institutions and for public appointments along with social welfare schemes for the betterment of transgenders by framing the same.
- Frame a scheme of housing for transgenders by giving suitable accommodation.
- Provide financial assistance to the parents of transgenders with scholarship to transgenders up to post-graduate level.
- Constitute a welfare board with representation given to transgenders in the board.
- Provide free medical access to transgenders in all the hospitals.
- Transgenders shall have free access to public institutions, public places.
- Provide separate toilets in every public utility buildings.
- Frame law/scheme to ensure that no transgender is separated from the parents/guardians and family
- Criminal cases shall be registered against the persons who forcibly remove transgender from their parents/guardians and family.
- All the transgenders in the State were ordered to be registered by the District Magistrates to recognize them as such.
- There shall not be any discrimination against transgenders qua employment or occupation. Also, They should not be treated unfairly and have an absolute right, as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to maintain privacy and to live with dignity.
Accordingly, the writ was disposed of. [Rano v State of Uttarakhand, WP (Crl.) No. 1794 of 2018, order dated 28-09-2018]