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Kerala Administrative Tribunal Permits Transgender Persons To Apply For Posts Advertised By State Public Services Commission

Navya Benny
25 Jan 2023 8:47 AM GMT
Kerala Administrative Tribunal Permits Transgender Persons To Apply For Posts Advertised By State Public Services Commission
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The Kerala Administrative Tribunal at Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday permitted transgender persons to apply for the posts of House Keeper (Female) under the Homeopathic Medical College department and Sub Inspector of Police (Trainee) in Armed Police Battalion.

The bench comprising the Judicial Member Justice P.V. Asha and Administrative Member Rajesh Dewan allowed the applicants to submit their applications and observed that in both cases, the Kerala Public Services Commission ought to "process the application purely on provisional basis, subject to further orders".

A notification had been issued by the Commission earlier inviting applications for the post of House Keeper (Female) under the Homeopathic Medical College department.

A trans woman Aneera Kabeer C. told the tribunal that the notification permitted only female candidates to apply for the post, and the applicant was shown to be ineligible in the official website of the PSC due to the gender identity.

The applicant averred that the notification is thus arbitrary and discriminates on the the basis of sex which is prohibited under Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution. The counsels for the applicants submitted that the arbitrary exclusion of trans women from the ambit of the post is violative of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019; the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rules), 2020; various apex court judgments and State Policy for Transgender in Kerala, 2015.

The counsels cited the Apex Court decision in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India & Ors. (2014), which was instrumental in carving out the category of the third gender in matters relating to recruitment.

In a similar application submitted by Arjun Geetha, permission was sought to submit application for the post of Sub Inspector of Police (Trainee) in Armed Police Battalion. A further direction to ensure the inclusion of transgender category as a separate category, and issuance of separate notification for transgenders for posts in various categories in subsequent notifications, has also been sought.

Advocates Kaleeswaram Raj, Thulasi K. Raj, Joggy Mathunni, Chinnu Maria Antony, Aparna Menon, Simran, Manjima, and Shilpasree appeared on behalf of the applicants in the two cases.

Case Title: Aneera Kabeer C. v. State of Kerala & Ors. and Arjun Geetha v. State of Kerala & Ors.

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