Supreme Court- Plea for Equal Protection for transgender against sexual crimes.

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking equal protection of laws to the transgender community from sexual crimes in context of the Indian Penal Code. The plea mainly says that there is no provision or section in the IPC for protection of the transgender from sexual assault either by males or females or from other transgender. The plea is filed by lawyer Reepak Kansal who is seeking the court to direct the Union government to make laws to prevent sexual harassment of transgender.

He stated “In cases of sexual assault of transgender, the law enforcement agencies are often at loss to ascertain applicable provisions of law as there is no provision in Indian Penal Code.” “In spite of declaring transgender people to be a ‘third gender’ by this court, there is no provisions/sections in the IPC which may protect the transgender from the sexual assault by male/ female or another transgender,” it said.

He in his petition stated that clauses (i), (ii) and (iv) of sub-section (1) of Section 354A of IPC does not include the transgender victims of sexual harassment, the plea is seeking to challenge the provision as it being ultra vires Fundamental Rights (Articles 14, 15 and 21) provided by the Constitution of India. The petition is seeking to make changes in the sections of IPC, dealing with sexual assault to include transgender.  He said Section 354 A of IPC should be declared as ultra vires of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that they are interpreted to exclude victims of sexual harassment who are transgenders. The petitioner cited National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India granting recognition to the transgenders as ‘people’, falling under the ambit of Article 14 of the Constitution. The plea seeks the court to direct the Union government to pass an Anti-Discrimination Bill that penalizes discrimination and harassment based on gender.



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