Transgender or third gender option now in railway reservation forms

The Railways and Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) have included “transgender/third gender” as a gender option alongside males and females in the Railway Ticket Reservation Forms (both online as well offline).

The inclusion is in compliance with an April 2014 judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the case of NALSA vs. Union of India.

The National Legal Services Authority in its petition had sought several directions from the Supreme Court, including granting of equal rights and protection to transgender persons; inclusion of a third category in recording one’s sex/gender in identity documents like the election card, passport, driving licence and ration card; and for admission in educational institutions, hospitals, among others.

The Lawyers Collective had filed an intervention, on behalf of Ms. Laxmi Narayan Tripathy, a Hijra/transgender activist, seeking recognition of self-identified gender of persons, either as male/female/third gender, based on their choice.

Special coaches sought

The petitioner, an advocate, alleged violation of Article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India by the IRCTC, by non-inclusion of “transgender/third gender” as a gender option in its reservation forms. The petitioner demanded special coaches and reserved seats for the transgender community in all trains, for their “care and protection”.

The apex court directed the Centre and the State governments to recognise transgender as the third sex, and to provide them with the benefits accorded to socially and economically backward classes. The Bench, comprising Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice A.K. Sikri observed that the non-existence of law recognising transgender as the third gender could not be continued to be relied on as a ground to discriminate them in availing equal opportunities in education and employment.

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Printable version | Sep 10, 2021 8:21:52 PM |

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