Union Government on 11 September 2014 sought clarification from Supreme Court on its verdict on transgender.
Union Government through its application asked SC to further clearify the definition of transgenders and to sought the issue of reservation for transgenders community.
In the application, the union government found the definition of transgender as ambiguous. In the transgender community there are lesbians, gays and bisexuals.
SC in its judgement gave the complete freedom to transgender persons to decide for themselves their gender identity. The ambiguity in the judgment did not extend to bringing all the lesbians, gays and bisexuals within the transgender community.
Union Government opined that the particular approach to choose their gender themselves can be risky.
The apex court ruled that any insistence on medical procedures, including sex reassignment surgery, for somebody to change their gender assigned-at-birth was immoral and illegal.
In the process, the judgment glossed over the implications of reducing a complex medical condition merely to a matter of individual choice.
The exclusion of medical clearance for determining gender can create anomalies in the workplace too, especially where a given task is specifically meant to be performed by a female employee.
Secondly, the Union government raised the issue of reservation for transgenders community. SC in its ruling asked the state governments to treat transgender persons as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.
In its application, the government made out that no sexual minorities was eligible to be included in the socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) category.
According to the government, only castes that have been found by a statutory commission to be backward were entitled to the benefits of the SEBC status. Any departure from this norm, may pose problems both practically and politically.
The clarification sought on whether transgenders could be put in the SEBC category without the commission's recommendation smacks of a dilatory tactic. Given that the SC verdict is the law of the land, the government could well have acted on its self-evident finding that transgender persons as a class were socially and educationally backward.
Who: Union Government
When: 11 September 2014
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