The Karnataka High Court has directed the State government to respond to an application which sought that horizontal reservation should be provided to Transgender Persons in Public Employment.
The government had recently filed anaffidavit in the court stating that it has proposed to consider reservation for the Transgender persons under one of the categories of Other Backward classes for recruitment, only after obtaining the opinion of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes.
Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari, representing the applicant trust "Jeeva", submitted that reservation ought not to be provided under the OBC category but should be provided as a horizontal reservation as a separate special category like the reservation provided for women and persons with disabilities, which can then be interlocked with other social categories of vertical reservation of SC/ST/OBC category.
Further, it is contended that the proposal of the government to include transgender persons within OBC category would not allow SC/ST transgender persons or transgender person from other backward classes to seek benefit of reservation under those categories. If the transgender person is already from the OBC category they will not get any additional benefit of reservation. Moreover, within the OBC category, chances of transgender persons getting any post would be very slim as they would have to compete with other members of the OBC category.
The application says that in Tamil Nadu the state government included transgender persons within the backward classes category known as Most Backward Classes (MBC) which is equivalent to the OBC category in Karnataka. However, the Madras High Court has in several judgments directed that instead of including transgender persons within the MBC, post based reservation in each vertical category be provided.
It is also contended that reservation should also provide for concession in age, cut-off marks and physical criteria as provided to other reserved categories. Further, the reservation should be provided for transgender persons in public employment, public education, allotment of housing sites and schemes.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi which is hearing a petition filed by Sangama, a society working for the upliftment of sexual minorities, sex workers and people living with HIV, challenging the state government notification for recruitment to the post of Special Reserve Constable Force and Bandsmen, allowed the impleading application filed by "Jeeva".
The matter will now be taken up on November 9.
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