Ensure quota for trans persons in civic bodies: Madras High Court

Tells collector to remove panchayat president from post for discrimination against trans persons
Madras High Court (File photo | EPS)
Madras High Court (File photo | EPS)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the state government to take steps to provide reservations for trans persons in civic bodies to bring them into the mainstream of society.

Justice SM Subramaniam passed the orders on Wednesday while disposing of a petition filed by the Nainarkuppam village panchayat Mohan president seeking orders to the Cuddalore district administration to cancel the house site patta given to trans persons in the village.

“The government of Tamil Nadu is directed to initiate all appropriate steps to grant reservations to transgender persons in the local body elections as an initial measure to bring them in the mainstream society,” he said, and ordered the collector to take action under the TN Panchayats Act, 1994, for removing the petitioner from his post.

The judge also ordered the Cuddalore district collector to ensure that transgender persons are allowed to participate in village festivals and ceremonies and hold worship in all religious institutions, besides providing them house site patta based on eligibility.

The petitioner had submitted a representation to the district collector to cancel the house site patta issued to trans persons in the village and also passed a resolution in the panchayat council in this regard. Later, he moved the petition to the court.

Stressing the need to provide a platform for this marginalised community to speak out about their needs and rights and bring in a societal change to bring them to the mainstream, the judge said reservation must be given to them in law-making institutions.

Justice Subramaniam said even though the state has been taking action to implement welfare measures by bringing in legislation and policies to support the transgender community, the bottom rung of the executive, which is the direct connection to the community, fails to implement these schemes in letter and spirit.

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