The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday directed a State Transgender committee to submit a report after an in-depth study into the problems faced by the transgender community and suggest measures that can be taken by the State Government to ameliorate their problems.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Suman Shyam set a limit of three months for this committee to submit its report, and directed the State to examine the recommendations in light of the Supreme Court's decision in the case of National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India, (2014) 5 SCC 438.
The Court was hearing a Petition filed by Ms. Swati Bidhan Baruah, who is transgender and founder of All Assam Transgender Association. She had prayed for directions to the State to take immediate and effective steps for the welfare and betterment of transgender persons.
She had further prayed for implementation of the Apex Court judgment in NALSA case, wherein the Court had directed Centre and the State Governments to recognize transgender as the third gender, and also to provide them with the benefits of socially and economically backward class.
In its order, the Court noted that despite the Supreme Court judgment, "no step worth mentioning was taken by the State Government for safeguarding the rights of transgender". It was further informed that only after receiving notice from the Court did the State constitute a core committee comprising of senior officers and other people, including the petitioner, who have knowledge in the subject to look into the difficulties faced by the community.
The State was then directed to examine the recommendations by this committee and implement them within six months.