In India, transgenders are unlikely to be spared from the ambit of the law criminalising homosexuality, contrary to the recommendation of a parliamentary panel, reported TOI. Sources said the legality of Section 377 of IPC, which makes homosexuality a crime, is pending before the Supreme Court, a reason why the government would not want to touch the sensitive issue.
In its report on Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill last month, the parliamentary standing committee on social justice and empowerment noted, “Transgender persons remain at risk of criminalisation under Section 377. The bill must at the very least recognise the rights of transgender persons to partnership and marriage.”
Although government seems to be against any major improvement in the legislation in the wake of the committee’s report. The ministry for social justice and empowerment will soon hold consultations with the law ministry for a final decision on the bill which is pending in Lok Sabha. “The issue of 377 is sub judice,” a source said.
Another key recommendation of the panel that transgenders be classified as OBCs may not be noticed.
In 2014, the SC had directed the government to recognize transgender as the “third gender” and classify them as OBCs eligible for reservations in jobs and education. While the bill is silent on this provision, the parliamentary panel recommended that the SC directive be followed.