The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit by an eunuch from Rajasthan who demanded "a life better than those of animals" for the community and asked the petitioner to approach the union government for the purpose.
A bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam rejected Sonam Singh's plea that the apex court should direct the government to form an all-India panel for eunuchs on the lines of those for Dalits, tribals, minorities and women to look into the issue of their welfare in a systematic and comprehensive way.
"It is only an eunuch who knows the difficulty of surviving in society in a respectful and gracious manner. I alone know the pain and humiliation that I face day in and day out despite the fact that eunuchs never harm others in the society and only pray for the well being of the society," Sonam Singh said in the petition, read out in court by counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi.
Tripathi told the court that the country even lacks a record of the eunuchs' population and the Election Commission of India never bothered to decide what gender should be attributed to them.
Seeking the apex court's intervention "to protect their dignity as human being as envisaged in the constitution", Tripathi alleged that "the government has left eunuchs at the mercy of god and even animals are in a better position".
"Ninety nine percent of eunuchs are either illiterate or semi-literate, having no source of income, except begging. More than 1.5 millions eunuchs are physically challenged and neglected by the their families and are bound to die a bitter death," Sonam Singh said in the petition.