SC issues notice to Air India for denying job to transgender | india-news | Hindustan Times
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SC issues notice to Air India for denying job to transgender

Air India had it could not offer her a job as it did not have a category to “include” her.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2017 23:23 IST
Bhadra Sinha
An Air India aircraft takes off at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India, July 7, 2017.
An Air India aircraft takes off at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India, July 7, 2017. (Reuters File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the ministry of civil aviation as well as Air India after the latter denied a cabin crew job to a transgender person on the basis of gender.

The apex court in 2014 passed the landmark judgement recognising transgenders as the “third gender” although there are sectors that have still not made headway in terms of incorporating the practice of identifying the community members as possible employees.

Air India, while turning down the cabin crew job to engineering graduate Shanavi Ponnusamy, who previously worked with Sutherland and the national carrier’s customer support before undergoing sex change to become a female, had said the firm cannot offer her the job as it does not have a category to “include” her. The vacancies in cabin crew were earmarked only for women applicants.

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra agreed to hear the petitioner when her counsel, Praveen Swarup, informed court that his client had fared well in the written tests but was not selected because there was no category for transgenders.

Swarup said despite having 400 vacant posts for cabin crew, his client was not chosen as the ministry has not created a category for transgenders. “The petitioner pursuant thereto, applied for the said post, as she fulfilled the eligibility criteria. She applied in the female category. The petitioner received the call letter for the group discussion and appeared for the said tests. Ponnusamy has taken four attempts but unfortunately has not been shortlisted for the post despite faring well in the tests,” stated the petition.

She was told that she did not succeed since the vacancies were earmarked only for women.

Ponnusamy went to the office of the ministry of civil aviation to discuss the issue but could not meet the Air India CMD. The state cannot discriminate on the ground of gender and the same violates the constitution that guarantees enjoyment of life to all citizens, she said.