The Supreme Court will hear on Friday the Centre’s review petition seeking clarity on issues arising out of a historic 2014 judgement that accorded legal recognition and rights to transgender people.
The judgement asked the government to give other backward class status to transgender people, pointing out their poor social and economic status and widespread social discrimination meted out to them.
But social justice and empowerment minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said transgender persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes raised objections about the proposed OBC status, which may cut off existing SC/ ST quota benefit for them.
“Now, this is creating some difficulty for those making their identity cards. So, we have filed a review petition in the court seeking clarity on this,” social justice and empowerment minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said on Thursday.
The apex court in its April 2014 judgement had said transgender people should be recognised as the ‘third gender’ and acknowledged their right to declare themselves either male, female or third gender.
“We also wanted clarity on these issues and have sought the guidance of the apex court. Clarity on these will help in the better implementation of the directives,” Gehlot said.
The ministry, Gehlot said, is close to finalising the Draft Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2015, and will try to place it in Parliament during the ongoing budget session.
The draft bill has a chapter that details offences which will be treated as atrocity and violence against transgender people.
As per the draft bill, the Union government will, by a notification, constitute a National Council for Transgender Persons to advise the central and state governments on the issues related to improving the quality of life of transgender persons.