Union government seeks clarification from Supreme Court on its judgment on transgender

Five months after the Supreme Court instructed the Centre to give OBC status to transgenders, the Union government has requested clarification on it holding that all such people cannot be grouped under OBC category as several of them are SC/ST by birth. The Centre suggested that there is no difficulty in putting non- SC/ST transgender under OBC category as that can be achieved via NCBC (National Commission of Backward Classes), but grouping SC/ST transgender under OBC would trigger troubles. Central Govt. A group can only be listed as backward if the NCBC, a statutory body under India’s Social Justice Ministry, considered it so, the government argued.

On April 15, 2014 in its landmark judgment, the Supreme Court had accorded legal acknowledgment to transgenders or eunuchs as third category of gender and directed the Centre and all states to consider them as socially and educationally backward classes to expand reservation in admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.

The Centre also requested clarification on the meaning of transgender articulating that Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual cannot be considered under the category of transgender. The government held in its application that “Universally, the term LGBT is used for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. While it may be possible for some transgender persons to also be gay, lesbian or bisexual, that is only an individual’s sexual orientation and would not result in a lesbian, gay or bisexual by themselves per se becoming a transgender.” Thus, some people might misuse the identity of transgender in order to get benefit of OBC Category in Job reservations.

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