Tag Archives: Transgender

Thinking through the application for “clarifications” of transgender rights

Newspapers have been reporting about an application for clarification filed, it appears, by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the Supreme Court about the NALSA judgment on transgender rights. Here is the full text of that application, and here is a very useful and short summary of its content. The reflections below follow from that summary.

Any move that makes the inclusion of trans-men, non-hijra trans-women, and genderqueer/trans folks in the SC judgment explicit is welcome. Many had written to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment seeking this, following the MSJE report and the judgment. The principle of self-determination of gender identity without psychological and medical examination or surgery is upheld and that remains critical.
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(En) Gendering a Rights Revolution: Siddharth Narrain

Guest Post by SIDDHARTH NARRAIN

The Supreme Court, in the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) judgment delivered today has recognized the legal and constitutional rights of transgender persons, including the rights of the hijra community as a ‘third gender’. In judgment of immense breadth and vision, Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and A.K. Sikri have brought hope and a promise of citizenship to a community that has largely been outside the legal framework.

NALSA filed this petition in 2012. In 2013, this matter was tagged together with a petition filed in the Supreme Court by the Poojaya Mata Nasib Kaur Ji Women’s Welfare Society, an organization working for kinnars, a transgender community. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a well-known transgender rights activist from Mumbai also intervened in this case.

In this piece, I will point to the highlights of this judgment and why it will go down in history as one of the most rights enhancing decisions in the Court’s history. I cannot but remark on the irony of this judgment being delivered just a few months after Koushal, in which the Supreme Court recriminalized LGBT persons and upheld the constitutionality of section 377 of the IPC. The Court acknowledges this, but makes it clear that while it recognizes that section 377 is used to harass and discriminate against transgender persons, this judgment leaves Koushal undisturbed, and instead focuses specifically on the legal recognition of the transgender community.

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Supreme Court recognizes transgender people as third gender

A two judge bench (Radhakrishnan and Sikri, JJ) of the the Supreme Court has delivered a judgment in  National Legal Services Authority versus Union of India which  recognizes transgendered people as a third gender. We will follow this post with a more detailed analysis of the judgment, but for now the operative part of the ruling

129. We, therefore, declare:

(1) Hijras, Eunuchs, apart from binary gender, be treated as “third gender” for the purpose of safeguarding their rights under Part III of our Constitution and the laws made by the Parliament and the State Legislature.

(2) Transgender persons’ right to decide their self-identified gender is also upheld and the Centre and State Governments are directed to grant legal recognition of their gender identity such as male, female or as third gender.

(3) We direct the Centre and the State Governments to take steps to treat them as socially and educationallybackward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.

(4) Centre and State Governments are directed to operate separate HIV Sero-survellance Centres since Hijras/ Transgenders face several sexual health issues.

(5)Centre and State Governments should seriously address the problems being faced by Hijras/Transgenders such as fear, shame, gender dysphoria, social pressure, depression, suicidal tendencies, social stigma, etc. and any insistence for SRS for declaring one’s gender is immoral and illegal.

(6) Centre and State Governments should take proper measures to provide medical care to TGs in the hospitals and also provide them separate public toilets and other facilities.

(7) Centre and State Governments should also take steps for framing various social welfare schemes for their betterment.

(8) Centre and State Governments should take steps to create public awareness so that TGs will feel that they are also part and parcel of the social life and be not treated as untouchables.

(9)Centre and the State Governments should also take measures to regain their respect and place in the society which once they enjoyed in our cultural and social life.

 

 

Section 377 and the Love with Odd Edges: Pallavi Paul

A Guest Post by PALLAVI PAUL

It is like watching an 80’s slasher film on an old VHS. The gruesomeness of mangled bodies, extra slimy trails of thick blood, intestines plastered against the screen. Parts of the image are eaten up by the glitch-ghosts that hang above them.  The erased bits , however, intensify the onset of the apocalypse instead of putting it away. It is impossible to tell whether something is happening, happened or will happen. Time is put through a particle accelerator, and what follows is a journey through a dilapidated scene of crime, with pure tone for background score.

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