Supreme Court issue notice against the petition challenging the Transgender Persons Act 2019

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Central Government on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Transgender Persons (protection of rights) Act, 2019.

The petition was filed by transgender activist Swati Bidhan Baruah, the Act passed with the objective of protecting the rights of transgender community.

Under the act,  it is stated that for asserting one’s identity as a transgender, there is a certificate issued by the District Magistrate. Even if any person undergoes a gender affirming surgery, it is mandatory to issue the certificate by the District Magistrate.

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The challenge occur in this Act are, “invasive and violative of the personal dignity and privacy of transgender persons. The Supreme Court has declared in the NALSA judgment that self-identification of gender is a right of transgender persons. But the Transgender Act 2019 has replaced “self-identification” with “state-identification“, states the plea.

Advocate Rashmi Nandakumar said in a plea, “the process of certification is unnecessarily invasive and fails to achieve a balance between the right in question and the state aim of effectuating self identification. The method prescribed completely deprives transpersons of their right to privacy”. 

“The Act treats transpersons with suspicion and several provisions of the Act evince and reinforce the very prejudice that the legislation ought to have aimed at eliminating”.

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It is also stated that the punishments prescribed by the Transgender Act, 2019 for harming transgender persons are wholly discriminates because in if any rape of a woman happens it is punishable with imprisonment extending up to life term, sexual abuse of a transgender is punishable with a term ranging from six months to two years imprisonment.

The provisions intended to grant a right against nondiscrimination.

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