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[Read judgment] SC undoes some damage: Makes ‘third gender’ recognition mandatory for government

The Supreme Court has ruled that all government departments must recognise a third gender, and not discriminate against transgender people in the provision of services.

“The spirit of the Constitution is to provide equal opportunity to every citizen to grow and attain their potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender,” said Justice KS Radhakrishnan, on the bench with Justice AK Sikri. He added: “Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue.”

“Transgenders are citizens of this country and are entitled to education and all other rights,” reported the AFP and others.

The petitioner was equal rights activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi.

SC recognises third gender

Download judgment here

The judgment follows a widely criticised Supreme Court bench late last year overturning a Delhi high court judgment, which had set aside the Indian Penal Code’s section 377 that criminalises sexual intercourse “against the order of nature” and non-penile-vaginal intercourse.

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