Transgenders entitled to reservations under MBC quota, government tells HC

Activist seeks horizontal reservation for third gender in education, jobs

Updated - June 15, 2019 08:36 am IST

Published - June 15, 2019 01:30 am IST - CHENNAI

The Madras High Court

The Madras High Court

The Commissioner of Social Welfare on Friday told the Madras High Court that transgenders were entitled to reservations in jobs and education as per the community to which they belong and that those who did not possess community certificates could be considered as Most Backward Class (MBC) candidates as per a Government Order issued in 2015.

The submission was made in a status report filed before a Division Bench of Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad who were seized of a public interest litigation petition filed by transgender rights activist Grace Banu Ganesan, 29, of Chennai seeking horizontal reservations in education and employment for transgender and intersex persons.

After taking the commissioner’s status report on file, the judges adjourned the PIL petition to July 17 for further hearing. The report stated that the transgenders who preferred to identify themselves as females were eligible to compete under the 30% special quota for women candidates and also under the rest of the 70% meant for both men and women.

It, however, did not elaborate as to whether it would be possible to provide horizontal reservation for the transgenders as sought by the petitioner.

Welfare board

Listing out various measures taken by the State for the welfare of the transgenders, it said a welfare board for third gender had been constituted with 12 transgenders as its non official members. The government had constituted district level screening committees to identify the transgenders and a survey estimated the population of the transgender in the State to be 6,962 though so far identity cards had been issued only to 5,073 of them. Over 2,000 transgenders had been provided with ration cards and 1,303 with house site patta (ownership documents).

All 260 transgenders who reside in Chennai city and had registered themselves with the welfare board had been provided accommodation at Tamil Nadu Housing Board tenements and the financial grant given to the transngenders for pursuing self employment opportunities had been increased from ₹20,000 to ₹50,000 in September last, the commissioner said.

It was also brought to the notice of the court that every year, the government allocated ₹1.2 crore for disbursing a monthly pension of ₹1,000 each to the transgenders who had crossed the age of 40 and that more than 1,000 people benefitted from the scheme.

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