CA Sandeep Kanoi
In a historic move, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted legal recognition to transgenders as ‘third gender’ as a mandate of social justice in response to writy filed by National Legal Services Authority . The apex court ordered the Center and the states to recognize transgenders as a class apart from male and female.
By recognizing TGs as third gender, Supreme Court is pholdind the rule of law and also also advances justice to the transgenders, so far deprived of their legitimate natural and constitutional rights. It is, therefore, the only just solution which ensures justice not only to TGs but also justice to the society as well. Social justice does not mean equality before law in papers but to translate the spirit of the Constitution, enshrined in the Preamble, the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy into action, whose arms are long enough to bring within its reach and embrace this right of recognition to the TGs which legitimately belongs to them.
According them the legal recognition as the “third gender”, the Supreme Court ruled that transgenders will be treated as a socially and economically backward class for being given various special rights.
Supreme Court has further held as follows :-
(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 Center 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 Center and the State Governments to take steps to treat them as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.
(4) Center and State Governments are directed to operate separate HIV Sero-su rvella nce 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) Center 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) Center and State Governments should also take steps for framing various social welfare schemes for their betterment.
(8) Center 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) Center 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.