Transgender persons rights Bill passed in RS

DMK MP Tiruchi Siva’s move to send the Bill to a committee was defeated.

DMK MP Tiruchi Siva’s move to send the Bill to a committee was defeated.  

Opposition MPs object to conditions; call them ‘regressive’

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was passed by Parliament on Tuesday, with the Rajya Sabha passing it after a motion to refer it to a select committee was defeated.

Passed by the Lok Sabha on August 8 and introduced in the Rajya Sabha by Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot on November 20, the legislation was meant to end discrimination against transgender persons, the Minister said.

Opposition MPs, however, raised concerns about certain provisions including the requirement of getting a transgender certificate from a District Magistrate, terming them regressive. DMK MP Tiruchi Siva, whose private member’s Bill for protecting transgender rights was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2015, moved a motion to refer the Bill to a select committee. The motion was defeated with 74 MPs voting against it and 55 in favour of it, and the Bill was passed by voice vote.

Mr. Siva said the Bill did not address the needs for protection of the transgender community, which, he said, had called the Bill “regressive and half-hearted”.

Mr. Gehlot said the concerns raised by the MPs would be looked into while drafting the rules. He said the Bill had already been sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee and passed by the Lok Sabha twice before being introduced in the Upper House.

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