Friday, July 1st, 2016

Gays,bisexuals, lesbians are not third gender, SC clarifies to Centre

Narada Desk | July 1, 2016 1:59 pm Print
A bench comprising Justices A. K. Sikri and N. V. Ramana warned to dismiss the government’s application with costs, and stated that it was very clear from the verdict of April 15, 2014 that these three are not transgenders.

Lesbians, gays and bisexuals will not fall into the category of “third gender,” the Supreme Court stated on Thursday, while considering an application of the Centre seeking clarifications on its landmark order in 2014.

A bench comprising Justices A. K. Sikri and N. V. Ramana warned to dismiss the government’s application with costs, and stated that it was very clear from the verdict of April 15, 2014 that these three are not transgenders.

“Why should we not dismiss the application with costs? No clarification is required,” the court said.

The government, even after the Supreme Court pronounced the verdict two years back, has not acted upon the historic verdict yet. Instead, it approached the apex court asking for clarification regarding the verdict.

While hearing, additional solicitor general (ASG) Maninder Singh claimed it was not clear from the 2014 verdict that whether it included lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

However, the bench rejected the argument and said that “No clarification is required. The application (of Centre) is disposed of.”

Senior advocate Anand Grovers appearing for a group of transgenders argued that the government refused to act upon the landmark verdict which ensured a dignified life for the third gender citing some confusions.

The bench reminded the government that the apex court in its significant verdict on 2014 had not included the above-mentioned three sections in the category of third gender, though they come under the descriptor “transgender.”

“The grammatical meaning of ‘transgender’, therefore, is across or beyond gender. This has come to be known as umbrella term which includes gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and cross-dressers within its scope. However, while dealing with the present issue we are not concerned with this aforesaid wider meaning of the expression transgender,” the judgment said.

The 2014 judgment by a Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and A.K. Sikri had also named the communities “hijras, eunuchs, Kothis, Aravanis, Jogappas, Shiv-Shakthis, etc.” as the third gender.

In a major bid to bring the marginalized third gender to the mainstream of the society, the Supreme Court in its verdict had directed the government to facilitate these section for getting admission in educational institutions.

Citing that the section 377 of IPC was widely being misused by the police against them, the court had also directed the Centre to help them overcoming fear, shame, social pressure, depression, and social stigma.

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