Recently the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha with certain amendments to the existing draft which was introduced in 2016. The Bill seeks to define transgenders and protect their fundamental rights by prohibiting any discrimination against them. However, the amendments to the Bill have received strong dissent from the transgender community and activists alike especially the procedure for transgender recognition wherein a The certificate of identity has to be obtained from the District Magistrate, who will issue the certificate based on the recommendations of a District Screening Committee, which will comprise the Chief Medical Officer, District Social Welfare Officer, Psychologist or Psychiatrist, and a representative of transgender community.
At the same time, the Delhi High Court affirmed to the application of provisions relating to sexual harassment to transgender victims. This determination was done by a Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal on a petition filed by one such transgender victim who identified as a woman although she was assigned as ‘male’ at the time of birth.
The petition (Anamika V/s Union of India and Ors) was made by the victim after the police authorities closed the complaint filed by the victim, alleging sexual harassment by male students on campus, on the grounds that there was no provision in the criminal law applicable to the complaint and that the complaint was civil in nature. The Complainant contended that Section 354A of IPC was ultra vires to Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. The counsel for the Delhi Police stated that if the complaint is a cognizable offence, under the provision of Section 354-A IPC, in particular, sub clause (i), (ii) and (iv) and the same is made out, then the complaint shall be registered as per law and as per the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority vs UOI 2014 5 SC 438. Only after being assured of the statement by the Delhi Police, the Complainant agreed to not proceed with the petition and accordingly the Bench dismissed the Writ as ‘not pressed’.
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