Delhi HC seeks Centre’s stand on plea for employment of transgender persons

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the Centre’s stand on a petition seeking employment of transgender persons and quotas for them in public appointment.

Justice Prathiba M Singh made the central government a party to a plea by a transgender person, which also seeks effective implementation of the provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

The court took note of the Social Welfare Department of the Delhi government writing to the Centre with regard to “anti transgender bullying policies” as well as notification of rules under the Act, and asked the city authorities to state their stand on the petition.

“Considering the communications, it is deemed appropriate to implead Union of India… Issue notice,” said Justice Singh observing that the petition raised an important issue.

The plea was filed last year after the petitioner was unable to apply following a vacancy advertised by the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board on account the online portal not having transgender’ as an option for identification of the applicant.

The petitioner said various positions that were advertised carried a specific requirement about the gender of the candidate being a male or female.

The counsel for the Delhi government said since then steps have been taken to update the portal and it now recognises male, female as well as transgender as options for candidates.

The petitioner said the update was not sufficient as there are still posts requiring male or female candidates which will force a transgender to choose either of the two. The petitioner has termed it discriminatory and in violation of the transgender persons act.

The Delhi government counsel said the ruling dispensation has of its own accord relaxed the minimum age requirement for transgender persons by 5 years and minimum marks requirement by 5 per cent.

Listing the matter for resumed hearing in March, the court clarified in the meantime, the petitioner will be free to apply against vacancies irrespective of the gender specified in the advertisement.

The petitioner has sought several directions to the authorities, including notifying separate vacancies for transgender persons in all advertisements issued for recruitment to teaching positions in schools administered by the Delhi government.

The petitioner has also prayed for relaxation in minimum qualification and age for recruitment of transgender persons, framing a policy for their recruitment in Delhi government departments and extension of reservation to them in all public appointments. (PTI)

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