All Bank forms and applications to include the ‘third gender’

All Bank forms and applications to include the ‘third gender’

The Reserve Bank of India has reportedly directed all banks to include 'third gender' in all their forms and applications whether prescribed by the central banks or designed by the banks themselves. This would require the banks to make changes to their core banking software to include the additional variable in the gender column, besides making changes in stationery.

In April last year, a Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice A.K. Sikri, in the case of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) v. Union of India &Ors. [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 400 of 2012] had directed the Centre and the State Governments to recognize transgender as the third sex and also to provide the benefits of socially and economically backward class.

In this historic judgment the court also opined that the Centre and the state governments should develop social welfare schemes for third gender community and run a public awareness campaign to erase social stigma attached to the community, apart from considering reservation in jobs. The Supreme Court also added that if a person surgically changes his/her sex, then he or she is entitled to her changed sex and cannot be discriminated.

Read the judgment here.

Read the directions issued by the Supreme Court in the case of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) v. Union of India &Ors., here.

More recently, the Allahabad High Court had issued another progressive judgment in the case of Ashish Kumar Misra v. Bharat Sarkar, wherein the Court has ensured food security for transgenders under the National Food Security Act, 2013. It ruled that the reference to gender, in the application forms for issuance of ration card, submitted under the National Food Security Act, 2013, the expression ‘other’ as under ‘female/male/other’ would necessarily include a transgender. Read the judgment here.