'Transsexuals should not be treated as a separate class' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Transsexuals should not be treated as a separate class'

The Home Ministry has told the Delhi HC that it was not empowered to issue directions to treat intersex or transsexuals as a separate class or provide them jobs, reports Harish V Nair.

delhi Updated: Aug 28, 2008 23:21 IST
Harish V Nair

The Home Ministry has told the Delhi High Court that it was not empowered to issue directions to treat intersex or transsexuals as a separate class or provide them jobs.

The ministry was responding to a PIL drawing attention of the court to the plight of transsexuals and urging the centre to end the descrimination against them in matters of providing employment.

The petition was inspired by the plight of 22-year-old Sanju Behra, who was sacked by the CISF on the grounds of gender ambiguity. She had applied for a job and got selected as a female candidate.

It was only when she started training as a constable with the CISF that doctors conducting medical examination discovered that she did not have a uterus or fully-developed female sex organs and her genetic sex was defined as ‘46XY’ which was consistent with males.

“The issues raised in the instant PIL are not within the purview of subjects allocated to the Ministry of Home Affairs as per the distribution of subjects given in the second schedule to Government of India (allocation of business),” said a recent affidavit filed by CISF, which is also on behalf of the Home Ministry.

Behra’s plight was similar to that of ace athlete Santhi Soundarajan, who was stripped of her medal at the Asian Games in Qatar after failing the gender test. She now leads a life of complete oblivion. She had also tried to commit suicide in September 2007.

Petitioners – social activist Rahul Verma and lawyer Rakesh Prabhakar – said in their petition that that even doctors treating Behra said, she should not have been discriminated on the basis of her current gender. They said Behra gave her class XII board exams and underwent her further studies as a female. They said Behra, belonging to a poor family in Orissa should be given back her job considering her economic background.

A predecessor bench of Justices TS Thakur and Veena Birbal had on December 19, 2007 issued notices to CISF, Home Ministry, Ministry of Women and Child and Health Ministry seeking their response.