The Supreme Court on Thursday denied to modify its order from 2014 which granted transgender people the status of a third gender. The court clarified that only transgender persons come under the third gender, not gays, lesbians or bisexuals. The clarification came when the court was hearing a PIL, challenging the definition of ‘transgender’.
The apex court had held that transgenders fall in the third gender category in 2014. The court said that the Central government must provide a third gender category in forms. The court had even asked the government to provide reservation to transgenders in the socially backward category as these people are treated badly by other people.
The Centre, which was demanding modifications in the judgment of 2014, stated that it could not implement the judgment as in one of the paragraphs, lesbian, gay and bisexual persons were put along with transgender persons in the third gender category.
The court bench was headed by Justice AK Sikri, who said that there is no confusion and it had clearly stated that lesbian, gay and bisexual people do not fall under the category of the third gender.
Senior advocate Anand Grover, who appeared for transgenders, contended that under the garb of clarification, the government delayed the compliance of the verdict for the last two years. To this, the court asked Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, “Why can’t a cost be imposed on the government for the delay in implementation of our order.” However, the court disposed of the government’s plea without imposing any cost.
As per the 2014 orders, “It is the right of every human being to choose their gender,” the Supreme Court had said, granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female. The verdict, which does not apply to gays, lesbians or bisexuals, directed central and state governments to add a third gender column in all identity documents such as birth certificates, passports, and driver’s licenses.