4 Dec 2023 10:03 AM GMT
The Government of Tamil Nadu recently informed the Madras High Court of the various schemes implemented in the State in compliance with the judgment of the Apex Court in National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India. The submissions were made before the bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice KK Ramakrishnan in response to a plea seeking the authorities to implement...
The Government of Tamil Nadu recently informed the Madras High Court of the various schemes implemented in the State in compliance with the judgment of the Apex Court in National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India.
The submissions were made before the bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice KK Ramakrishnan in response to a plea seeking the authorities to implement the NALSA judgment.
In its counter affidavit, the State informed the court that the Government has initiated many innovative steps for the welfare of the Third Gender such as Mobile Apps, Awards, Training programs etc. It was informed that the mobile app, created at a cost of ten lakh rupees was inclusive of information, education and communication activities for the welfare of the persons belonging to the third gender.
It was also informed that the app would allow persons to be enrolled as Third Gender without any omission/inhibition making it convenient to assess the training requirements at the Departmental level. Further, the app would help increase employment opportunities for persons belonging to the third gender as well.
It was also submitted that skill training and other activities could be arranged in convergence with other departments for which financial assistance could also be provided.
Apart from the mobile app, the court was informed that the State has also instituted an Award at a total cost of One Lakh rupees for the third gender to be presented every year.
State submitted that the award would be presented to a person belonging to the third gender who has built up their career without any support, has done eminent work for the welfare of the Third Gender community and has helped at least 5 Third Gender persons to get livelihood support.
The state also informed the Court that it has formed an exclusive Training Co-Operative Society for Third Gender persons to impart skill training for tailoring, distribute modernized tailoring machines and job opportunities to stitch uniforms for school children under the Puratchi Thalaivar MGR Nutritious Meal Programme.
In compliance with the NALSA judgment, the State submitted that it had already issued orders in 2015 allowing Transgender persons to identify themselves as “Third Gender” apart from the binary gender system.
Further, it was submitted that the category would be included along with Male/Female categories in all places where gender identity is required to be mentioned.
The state also submitted that as per a Government Order issued in 2017, it had formulated a method for determining the community of a Third Gender person and for granting concessions. These concessions were to be granted subject to the production of a certificate identifying them as Third Gender or Third Gender (Male) or Third Gender (Female) issued by the Tamil Nadu Third Gender Welfare Board, as the case may be.
The state further informed that it has been following up with beneficiaries of the Tamil Nadu AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) intervention project to ensure services are passed on efficiently.
Further, District Level Committees were set up for the early identification of crises and other violence against the Third Gender and for addressing the same within 24 hours. The state also informed the court that cultural troops and registered communities were involved in creating awareness among the rural population.
The court was also informed that a committee had been set up for primary screening of ideal beneficiaries and safety measures have been prescribed for earlier preparatory assessment under standardized criteria for undergoing Sex Realignment Surgery. The state also informed that it has taken various measures for providing medical care to Transgenders in hospitals and for framing various social welfare schemes for their betterment.
Considering the submissions, the court disposed of the petitions.
Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr.S.Baskar Mathuram
Counsel for the Respondent: Mr.R.Nandakumar, Senior Central Government Standing Counsel, Mr.P.Thilakkumar, Government Pleader
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 380
Case Title: S Muthu Kumar v The Cabinet Secretary and Others
Case No: W.P(MD)No.10766 of 2015