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Transgender should not be subjected to unjust treatment and have a fundamental right to privacy and dignity under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution: Uttarakhand High Court

Transgender should not be subjected to unjust treatment and have a fundamental right to privacy and dignity under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution is upheld by the Uttarakhand High Court in the case of Rano v State of Uttarakhand through a division bench comprising of Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari, and ACJ Rajiv Sharma.

FACTS OF THE CASE

The petitioners in the instant case were transgender who were experiencing interference in their sphere of operation, from which they had requested protection for their life and liberty.

Due to the petitioners’ suffering and to address the need to provide them with a decent living in order to bring them on par with other members of society, the Court took judicial notice of this case.

JUDGEMENT

The Court cited the case of National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, 2014 where the Apex Court ruled that the term “person” used in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution does not only refer to males and females but also to Transgender people, who are also entitled to equal protection under the law and equality in all other spheres.

The Court observed that as members of the socially and educationally disadvantaged class, transgender are entitled to advantages, including employment preferences in the public sector. It was decided that transgender should be treated as the third gender, providing them a legal status, because gender identity is part of the right to dignity as well as to personal autonomy and self-expression.

The Court held that the State Government shall establish social welfare programmes for the benefit of transgender people and provide for reservations in admission to educational institutions and for public appointments. In addition to this, the State government should create a housing plan for transgender people by providing appropriate accommodations as well as grant financial aid to transgender parents and offer scholarships to transgender students up to the post-graduate level.

The Court also ruled that transgender people cannot be subjected to employment or career discrimination. Additionally, they should not be subjected to unjust treatment and have a fundamental right to privacy and dignity, as stated in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Accordingly, the Court gave the state the order to put transgender welfare programmes into effect.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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