HC asks for report on steps taken to benefit transgenders

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Tuesday asked the Director of School Education, J&K, to place before the court a report with regard to making provisions in school admission forms for transgenders as a third gender.
The court passed the direction after a status report dated 23 December 2019 was filed by the School Education Department. The report placed on record the communication dated 6 December 2019 by the Additional Secretary, School Education, to the Director, School Education, for making provisions in admission forms for transgenders.
The court observed that, “The same communication requires a direction to the School Education Department to issue directions to all the schools of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in this regard.”
“Let a compliance report of the directions made in the communication dated 6th December, 2019, by the Director of School Education Department of Kashmir and Jammu be placed before us before the next date of hearing. The Director, Education Department of Kashmir/Jammu, shall also obtain compliance reports from some of the schools and place the same before us before the next date of hearing,” the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur directed.
The court observed that the rights of transgenders are at issue and the authorities need to work for the marginalized community.
The court also remarked that the Union Territory of Ladakh was not represented in the matter.
“The Chief Secretary of the Union Territory of Ladakh shall ensure that a report regarding several steps which are under consideration shall be placed before us before the next date of hearing,” the court directed.
The court also directed that a copy of its order dated 20th March, 2019, and the last three court orders on this matter be sent to the Chief Secretary, Union Territory of Ladakh, to take note of the directions passed.
Government advocate Sheikh Feroz sought time from the court to file a status report on behalf of the Department of Social Welfare in terms of the court order dated 27 November 2019.
The court while granting time directed the advocate to inform the court about measures taken with regard to reservations in jobs/public employment for transgenders.
The court directed the petitioners to place a report after making enquiries among transgenders with regard to the utilisation of several benefits and schemes, if any, of the Central Government and the other Union Territories, and especially the measures taken to enable transgenders to secure admissions in institutions of education.
Meanwhile, the court said that in view of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, it was necessary to amend the petition to substitute the State of J&K with the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh.
“Let these UTs be brought on file as party nos. 1-A and 1-B. The amended memo of parties be filed before the next date of hearing. The court will again hear the matter on 8 May, 2020,” the division bench said.

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