Plea seeks separate public toilets for transgenders

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the government on a petition seeking direction to contruct public toilets for the transgenders or third gender claiming they are prone to sexual assault and harassment” when using male toilets.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought responses of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Delhi government and all municipal corporations in the Capital on the petition.

The petition filed by Jasmine Kaur Chhabra, a final-year law student, said it was not fundamentally or morally correct to ask anyone of a specific gender to use a public toilet which is made for any other gender.

The plea said the Supreme Court in its 2014 judgment ‘National State Legal Authority vs. Union of India’ recognised third gender which consists of transgenders. “The Centre and State governments should take proper measures to provide medical care to transgenders in hospitals and also provide them with separate public toilets and other facilities,” the top court had said.

Facing harassment

It said the third gender faces trauma, agony and harassment when they utilise washrooms built for male or female. This is a serious and concerning issue which the people of transgender community face in their daily life.

“The transgenders, male and female, feel a certain amount of uncomfortableness and hesitation when the third gender uses the washrooms which are made for male and female,” the plea said.

“When the third gender uses the washrooms made for male and female, then their right to privacy is violated,” it added.

“Mysore, Bhopal and Ludhiana have already started taking action in such matters and have built separate public washrooms for them and that the Capital of India, Delhi is still seen nowhere taking such an initiative,” the petition said.

It also said that the Central government have released funds for the concerned issue but still there are no separate toilets are made for the transgender or third gender community in Delhi.

As there are no separate toilet facilities for transgenders, they have to use male toilets where they are prone to sexual assault and harassment. Moreover, there is no remedy available for the same as there are no provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that protects transgenders from sexual assault by any male, female or another transgender.

The HC has posted the petition for further hearing on September 13.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 12:47:00 PM |

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