26 Aug 2022 10:17 AM GMT
"The State is under constitutional as well as statutory obligation to protect the transgender community from the pervasive discrimination that they are facing," observed Patna High Court as it directed the Bihar Government to take steps to root out the prevailing discrimination against the community from within the general public.The bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S....
"The State is under constitutional as well as statutory obligation to protect the transgender community from the pervasive discrimination that they are facing," observed Patna High Court as it directed the Bihar Government to take steps to root out the prevailing discrimination against the community from within the general public.
The bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar further directed the Additional Chief Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Government of Bihar to convene a meeting, seek updates on the welfare measures and issue appropriate directions to ensure that all possible steps are taken for benefit of this community without any further delay.
The Court issued these orders while dealing with a writ petition filed against the pitiable condition of the transgender community in the State of Bihar.
The PIL filed by Veera Yadav at the peak of the pandemic highlighted the inhumane living conditions of the transgender community in Bihar, which was even deprived of access to food due to lockdown.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the Court has addressed various problems being faced by the community.
In response to a series of orders delivered by the Court, the Bihar Government ensured that several beneficial measures are taken up for the betterment of the community including economic assitance, ration distribution, issuance of advertisements for employment to the post of Special Unit (Transgender) at the District Level, implementation of the reservation to the position of Constable/Sub-Inspector for people of TGC-one post per five hundred, etc.
Now, on August 17, while hearing the matter, the Patna High Court stressed that as citizens of India, the persons belonging to the Transgender community are not only entitled to all rights under the golden triangle of the Indian Constitution, i.e. Articles 14, 19 and 21, as recognized by Hon'ble the Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority Judgment, but also, such obligation imposed by enactment of the statute as well as International Instruments to which, India as a Nation is a signatory.
In this regard, the Court referred to various provisions of The Transgender Persons(Protection of Rights) Act 2019 enumerating the statutory obligations of the state vis-a-vis the transgender community. The Court also took into account obligations under international law.
Further, the Court observed that in the case of the transgender community, not only were the eyes of the State shut, but also the prejudices so engrained were continued without thought, however, the Court added, with the filing of the instant PIL, the State was able to take a number of appreciable steps which will/are having a positive impact on the community.
Against this backdrop, the Court did express its hope that the State will continue making efforts and breaking new ground in the realization of all rights to the TGC as they are entitled under the Constitution of India.
"Beneficial treatment to members of TGC stands granted in compliance of directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority (supra) as per the chart reproduced above. However, systemic discrimination shall not be cured only by employment opportunities. Other than welfare measures directed at TGC, the State must take steps to root out discrimination from within the general public. That may include awareness, sensitization programmes; educational reforms, training for educators; etc," the Court remarked.
With this, the petition as also the associated interlocutory applications were disposed of.
Case title - Veera Yadav v. The Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar and others
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Pat) 25
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