National

Centre wants SC to clarify order on transgenders

Will their happiness be short-lived? File photo: Thulasi Kakkat

Will their happiness be short-lived? File photo: Thulasi Kakkat  

Hardly five months after the Supreme Court, in a far-reaching judgment, directed the government to grant legal recognition to transgenders as a ‘third gender,’ the Centre has raised several objections against the verdict.

The judgment, delivered on April 15, had given transgenders the right to decide their own gender. A Bench comprising Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice A.K. Sikri directed the government to treat them as “socially and educationally backward classes of citizens.”

The Ministry of Social Justice has sought a clarification from the court on the verdict. It said there was ambiguity in the ruling, as lesbians, gays and bisexuals (LGB) could not “obviously” be included in the transgender category. The concept of LGB was based on the “sexual orientation” of a person, while the term “transgender” had to do with “a person’s own deep sense of gender identity.” This stand contradicted the Supreme Court, which said “transgender” was used in a wider sense in the present age. “Even gays, lesbians and bisexuals are included by the descriptor ‘transgender.’ This has come to be known as an umbrella term,” Justice Radhakrishnan, who wrote the judgment, had held.

The Ministry also found fault with the court’s inclusion of “eunuchs” in the transgender category. It said the Oxford Dictionary meaning of “eunuch” was “a castrated man employed to guard women’s living areas at an oriental court.”

“Eunuchs are not transgenders, nor a variant of transgender. It is a different concept altogether,” the Ministry said.

The Ministry asked the court if it expected the government to suo motu include all transgenders in the Other Backward Classes (OBC). There was an established procedure under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 for this.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 12:53:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-wants-supreme-court-to-clarify-orders-on-transgenders/article6401930.ece

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