A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking the protection and safeguard of law for the transgender community. They allege that the Indian Penal Code(IPC) had no penal provision for the security and protection of this community against any sexual offense committed. Advocate Reepak Kansal filed this plea, in his own capacity. An Anti-discrimination Bill for the third gender is recommended.
What does the petition allege?
The petition challenges and questions the constitutional validity of Clause (i), Clause (ii), and Clause (iv), sub-section (1) of Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code(IPC). The petition harshly challenges this section of the Constitution to an extreme level. Hence, it says that the Transgender people who have been a victim of sexual harassment are deprived of their penalizing rights and thus needs a protection law. This gender discrimination has been termed ultra vires according to Article 14, 15, and 21 of the Indian Constitution. Article 14, claims that ‘any person’ should not be denied equality before the law. Hence, there is no gender restriction made here clearly. Article 15, prohibits any gender discrimination, and Article 21, talks about ‘Right to life’.
The plea states – The Indian Laws are for men and women and thus, neglect the transgender community every time. The third gender is always deprived of justice, rights, and privileges which is generally enjoyed by the other citizens of India.
Importance of this PIL for the protection of Transsexuals:
The Indian Constitution has adopted several amendments for the uplifting of the transgender community in the past 5 years. They are even declared as the third gender by the Supreme Court. However, their needs to be a law to vanguard the safety of these people and protect their laws in case of sexual harassment. A lot of the articles of the Constitution talks about equal rights and justice to all the citizens. But it is claimed that the Indian Penal Code(IPC) doesn’t have any provision for this section. There has been a case in which a Transgender Delhi University student was denied filing a complaint as there was no such provision in the IPC. A survey claims that around 66% of the surviving transgender community has gone through sexual harassment paired with physical abuse. Hence, the statistically estimated documents reveal shockingly high rates of assault amidst this community. The majority section of the transgender community is leading a life with the aftermath of trauma, agony, and fear. Their Right to Life is being constantly challenged.
What effective measures should be taken:
The sections dealing with sexual harassment of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) should be made gender-neutral. The third gender has to be granted its safety and law protection at all costs. This plea has a hearing fixed in a few days when it would suggest the measures, and implementations pertaining to the IPC for the third gender. An Anti-discrimination Bill that penalizes cases pertaining to sexual abuse of this community is demanded in this plea.