A city-based NGO has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) before the Bombay high court (HC) demanding that eunuchs should be treated as humans with fundamental rights and should be issued voter identity cards.
The NGO - Salvation of Oppressed Eunuchs - has sought court's direction to end the oppression of eunuchs by allowing them to exercise fundamental rights on par with others in the society. The eunuch community should be granted minority status and laws applicable to the scheduled castes and tribes should be extended to them, the NGO further demanded.
It has sought the amendment of sections 375 and 377 of the Indian Penal Code to facilitate the inclusion of trans-sexuals and eunuchs in the definition of the term 'rape'. "It is a crime against humanity when derogatory terms are used in respect of members of an underprivileged class," the petition states. "The atrocities and crimes committed against eunuchs should be taken seriously and the culprits should be punished. Even passing derogatory remarks should be punishable under the law," it adds.
The petition has urged the court to direct the authorities to ensure that the condition of eunuchs living as bonded labour be ended forthwith and their available documentary evidence should be accepted for the issuance of statutory government identification, such as voter's ID and passport among others.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing next week.