Transgenders Bill passed
The Rajya Sabha on 26 November 2019 passed a bill on protection of rights of transgenders after a motion to refer it to a select committee of the Upper House was defeated. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on August 5. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, seeks to provide a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders and was moved for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on November 20.
- Replying to a discussion for further consideration of the bill, Gehlot said efforts will be made to incorporate the suggestions presented by members while framing the rules.
- He said a clause related to medical examination by a panel for a district magistrate (DM) or collector to certify a person as a transgender which was earlier part of the bill, has been done away with, after reservations were expressed by members in this regard.
- However, in case of a child, his or her parents can file an application for issuance of an identification certificate.
- Elaborating on the provisions of the bill, the minister said it is aimed at eliminating discrimination against transgenders and the government will form a national council for its implementation after the legislation is brought into effect.
- Gehlot said a transgender person will be able to avail the benefits of schemes offered by states as well as the Centre.
- He informed that the recommendations and suggestions of the standing committee of the Lok Sabha have also been incorporated in the bill.
- The motion to refer the bill to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha was moved by Tiruchi Siva of the DMK. However, it was defeated after voting took place.
- He said the Supreme Court's direction in April 2014 regarding framing transgenders has also been kept in mind.
- The Supreme Court had recognised the transgender community as a third gender along with male and female in April 2014.
- The transgender community has been treated as "untouchables" and have been subjected to "ridicule" and "discrimination" which is the moral failure of the society.