Protection and Classification of Rights under The Transgender Person Act, 2019

Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practicing in the Bombay High Court. He can be reached at aditya@adityapratap.com

Introduction of a Transgender Person

A person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and having such socio-cultural identities as Kinner, Hijra, Aravani and Jogta. Transgender is an umbrella term for transvestites, transsexuals, genderqueer, no gender, or multiple genders.

Even though the government has done its bit of providing protection and rights to the community. There has been a lot of backlash regarding how the act does more harm to the community than good. The act is silent on the reservations in the field of education and employment. The government wants to uplift this minority community but is not ready to provide reservations for the same. Also, the demand to make sex reassignment surgery free or far less costly is not mentioned in the act.

Protection of rights under Transgender persons (protection of rights) Act, 2019

The Transgender persons (protection of rights) Act, 2019 aims to end discrimination against transgender persons in education, employment, housing, healthcare, and others as per chapter II of the act. It also recognizes the right to self-perceived gender identity. The Supreme Court in NALSA v Union of India recognized the community as ‘third gender’. The government had introduced this act for the upliftment of this community, instead it resulted in huge chaos and disappointment among the community people.

Functions of NCT complying with its functions and penalties

The appropriate government will review, monitor, and evaluate all the policies and programs for achieving equality for transgender people and full participation from the community. It will also redress their grievances.

A transgender person shall not be denied access to public places. they shall not be physically, sexually, verbally, emotionally, or economically abused. Whoever compels a transgender person in act of forced labor, forces them to leave the household or the place of residence would commit an offense. Penalties for these offenses vary between six months and two years, and a fine.

National council for transgender persons

The National council of transgender persons (NCT) include:

  •  Union Minister for Social Justice (Chairperson)
  •  Minister of State for Social Justice (Vice- Chairperson)
  • Secretary of the Ministry of Social Justice
  •  one representative from ministries including Health, Home Affairs, and Human Resources Development.
  •  Other members include representatives of the NITI Aayog, and the National Human Rights Commission.  State governments will also be represented.
  •  The Council will also consist of five members from the transgender community and five experts from non-governmental organisations.

Prohibition against discrimination and Recognition of identity of transgender persons

The act prohibits discrimination towards a transgender person on the basis of education, employment, healthcare, public services, residence, rent, opportunity to hold public or private office and access to a government or private establishment in whose care or custody a transgender person is.

Transgenders gain the right to have a self-perceived gender identity. 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, comprising the Chief Medical Officer, District Social Welfare Officer, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist, and a representative of the transgender community. If a transgender person wants to identify as male/female they will have to undergo surgery in order to get the certificate.

Welfare measures by Government and Education, Social security and Health of Transgender Persons

the government shall take steps for the participation of transgenders in the society and give them access to the welfare schemes which will be non-discriminatory and transgender-sensitive. It will also promote their participation in cultural activities. Every transgender person has the right to reside with family or immediate family and be included in the household. In the case when parents or immediate family is unable to take care of transgender person, the person is to be placed in a rehabilitation centre by the order of competent court.

The act prohibits discrimination on the basis of education, employment, and healthcare. The govt shall provide inclusive education, opportunities in the field of sports and leisure activities for transgenders, without discrimination. The government shall plan welfare schemes for transgender people so as to ease their problems and support their livelihood including vocational training and self-employment. The health of a transgender person should be taken care of by providing them healthcare facilities including separate HIV surveillance centers, and sex reassignment surgeries.

About the Author – Aditya Pratap

Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practising in Mumbai. He argues cases in the Bombay High Court, Sessions and Magistrate Courts, along with appearances before RERA, NCLT and the Family Court. For further information one may visit his website adityapratap.in or view his YouTube Channel to see his interviews. Questions can be emailed to him at aditya@adityapratap.com.

Cases argued by Aditya Pratap can be viewed here.

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