Srinagar: To ensure the right to life for transgender in J&K, the J&K High Court Wednesday directed the state government to undertake a fresh census of transgenders in the state within six weeks, specifying their geographical distribution, so that they can be brought into the mainstream.
The court passed the direction after state counsel submitted that due to upcoming municipal polls, the undertaking of fresh census of transgender community was not possible during this time.
The court said, “Transgenders are as much humans as the other two genders and have every right to life.”
Meanwhile, one of the petitioners Anas Shafi Khan submitted that former state government had proposed welfare schemes for the benefit of transgender community but till date nothing has been done in this regard.
The division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe directed that all such welfare schemes and measures be given to transgenders and state authorities must initiate action in this regard.
Considering the issues faced by the community, the court directed that be taken by the authorities to ensure that transgenders don’t face marginalisation.
On previous hearing court had remarked that transgenders are a visible minority but yet are treated as invisible.
The court was also informed by state ounsel Asif Bhat that draft policy with respect to transgenders has been recasted after some objections were raised by petitioners and is now pending with law department for its approval.
The court directed that latest status be filed before this court on next date of hearing.
The court said, “Steps taken by the respondents so far as to ensure the right to life of transgenders, in view of Supreme Court directions passed in a petition titled National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India, 2014, have to be implemented, and we further direct respondents to produce the form with the inclusion of third gender option before this bench so that the community of these people are entitled to education and other basic facilities.”
In National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India, the transgenders have sought directions to the government for implementation of the said judgment in J&K with a plea that clear directions of the apex court with respect to rights of transgenders be implemented. However, the state has been unable to make headway in this direction.
The PIL states that the government must acknowledge transgenders as marginalised and vulnerable section of society and introduce reservations in government jobs and educational institutions. It also states that a monthly welfare fund be maintained for them besides providing them adequate social security.