Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Breaking: Calcutta High Court Directs Centre To Grant Reservation, Other Benefits To Transgender Persons In Joint CSIR-UGC NET Exam

Sparsh Upadhyay
3 Feb 2021 1:48 PM GMT
Breaking: Calcutta High Court Directs Centre To Grant Reservation, Other Benefits To Transgender Persons In Joint CSIR-UGC NET Exam
x
Non-grant of such reservation, age relaxation and fee concession to Transgender Persons in the Joint CSIR-UGC NET Examinations is unacceptable and patently violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India : Calcutta High Court

Underlining that the transgender communities are required to be accorded equal status as the other prevalent genders of society, the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday (02nd February) issued direction that reservation and other benefits for transgenders in Joint CSIR-UGC NET Examinations at all levels be provided immediately. The Bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya was hearing the...

Underlining that the transgender communities are required to be accorded equal status as the other prevalent genders of society, the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday (02nd February) issued direction that reservation and other benefits for transgenders in Joint CSIR-UGC NET Examinations at all levels be provided immediately.

The Bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya was hearing the plea of one Sumana Pramanik, who contended before the Court that the eligibility criteria of the UGC-NET Examination provide for transgenders to get the benefit of reservation and allied benefits, while in the case of Joint CSIR-UGC NET Examination such benefit isn't available for the Transgender Community.

[NOTE: As per the Information Bulletin for UGC-NET Examination (June 2020), the Transgender category is eligible to draw the same relaxation in fee, age and qualifying criteria for NET (i.e., JRF and Assistant Professor) as are available to SC/ST/PwD categories]

During the last hearing in the instant matter, the High Court, while noting that basic tenets of equality has been prima facie violated by not providing reservation benefits to Transgenders in 'Joint CSIR-UGC Net' Exam, had sought UGC's Reply in this matter.

Court's 02nd February Order

Pursuant to the Court's Order, UGC submitted that it had already granted necessary approval for the reservation and affording ancillary benefits to transgenders in the CSIR-UGC NET Examination as well and it was for the respondent no.5 to incorporate the suggestion.

The Court observed that the right to life includes the right to live with dignity.

In this backdrop, the Court further remarked,

"As such, non-grant of such reservation, age relaxation and fee concession to transgender persons in the Joint CSIR-UGC NET Examinations is unacceptable and patently violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India."

Importantly, the Court directed respondent no.5,

"To immediately provide for reservation, age relaxation and fee concession for the category of transgenders, along with the other reserved categories, for the Joint CSIR-UGC NET Examinations at all levels."

The Court also observed that in the matter of National Legal Services Authority Vs. Union of India & Ors. the Supreme Court had categorically upheld transgender persons' right to decide their self/identified gender and the Central and State Governments were directed to grant legal recognition of their gender identity, such as male, female or as third gender.

Notable orders of other High Courts

Recently, the Bihar Government informed the Patna High Court that vide notification dated 14th January, 2021, it has taken a decision for providing reservation in appointment to the post of Constables/Sub-Inspectors, for the persons belonging to the Transgender Community.

Further, while noting that Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 permits a transgender person to have a right to be recognized and such transgender is permitted to have a right to self-perceived gender identity, the Bombay High Court (Aurangabad Bench) on Saturday (02nd January) allowed a transgender to contest village panchayat polls as a Woman candidate.

The Bench of Justice Ravindra Ghuge allowed the plea filed by Anjali Guru Sanjana Jaan, who challenged an order passed by the returning officer who rejected her nomination for the village panchayat polls.

Also, the Centre has recently informed the Delhi High Court that Transgender shall now be included as a separate gender category in Prison Statistics Report prepared by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The Kerala High Court has also observed that "Person cannot be denied a legitimate right only because she is a transgender".

Justice Devan Ramachandran noted this, while hearing a plea filed by a Transwoman, challenging Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 as illegal and ultra vires of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

It may be noted that a Petition has been moved in the Kerala High Court challenging Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 as illegal and ultra vires of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it excludes the transgender community from enrolment with the National Cadet Corps.

Notably, the High Courts of Karnataka, Jharkhand and Telangana have also ordered the Government to ensure that the Transgender community is provided adequate protection and benefits during the lockdown.

In the month of May, a petition was also filed in the Kerala High Court seeking protection of the community against discrimination in the grant of relief measures during the lockdown.

In the month of June, the Bombay High Court had directed the Principal Secretary to the State Social Justice and Special Assistance Department to consider and dispose of within a fortnight, concerns expressed by an activist working for the transgender community, regarding the plight of the members especially after the lockdown and seeking directions for the formulation of a welfare scheme for the 40,000 members of the community in the State.

Recently, the Karnataka High Court has directed the State Government to take steps for implementation of the relevant provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and also extend all kinds of the reservation to members of the community.

In the month of July, the Karnataka High Court had sought a reply from the state government on why it has not included a separate category for the transgender community in its notification for recruitment to the post of Special Reserve Constable Force and Bandsmen.

Case title - Mx Sumana Pramanik @ Suman Pramanik v. The Union of India and others [W. P. A. 9187 of 2020]

Click Here To Download Order

Read Order


Next Story