TN govt ordered to classify trans persons under special category for jobs, education

HC asks home secy to prescribe lower cut-off marks, age relaxation
The order was passed on a petition filed by R Anushree
The order was passed on a petition filed by R Anushree(Photo | Express)

CHENNAI: Asserting that denial to consider trans perons under a special category is against the orders of the Supreme Court, the Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to treat trans persons under a separate category while considering them for public employment and educational opportunities.

“The second respondent (Home Secretary) is directed to treat the trans persons under special category and not to treat them under female or male category in all education and employment avenues,” Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan said in an order passed on Wednesday.

The court also asked the Home Secretary to direct all the recruiting agencies to specify transgender as a special category and prescribe separate and lower cut-off marks, age relaxation and other norms as done for other categories like caste-based ones.

The order was passed on a petition filed by a trans person, R Anushree, seeking orders to the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to consider her application under a special category of transgenders for recruitment to the posts falling under the Combined Civil Services Group-II A as per a notification of 2017.

The petitioner stated that though she scored 121.5 marks in the exam, she was not called for certificate verification as she was treated as an SC (woman), for whom the cut-off mark was higher than her score.

The TNPSC submitted that she could not be considered under a special category as she has marked SC and trans persons in separate columns for caste and gender in the application.

However, Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan ordered TNPSC to consider her for recruitment by allowing her to submit her certificates for verification for the ongoing recruitment process to Combined Civil Services Group- II A as per a 2022 notification, by placing her in the special category and giving her preference.

She observed that if there was a special reservation, as directed by the Supreme Court, the petitioner would have found a way to lead a life the same as any other citizen of this country. “The denial to consider the petitioner under a special category is against the direction issued by the Supreme Court and there cannot be any reason for not doing so,” she said.

The judge commented that every denial of opportunity to a trans person, that too when there is only a minimal number of educationally qualified, would pull back the community to lead an ‘abnormal’ life. It is for the government to improve their quality of life by providing sufficient opportunities in education and employment, the judge said. The judge further stated if the trans persons are categorised only according to their caste, it would be detrimental to their development. They are to be treated as a special category, she added.

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