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इंडियन आवाज़     29 May 2020 07:06:50      انڈین آواز

Transgender activists ask Govt to halt Transgender Rules, 2020

FILE PHOTO

WEB DESK

More than 150 transgender activists from across India  have urged the government particularly the Union Social Justice Ministry to halt the Transgender Rules, 2020 until constitutionality of Transgender Act is decided by Apex Court & Pre-Legislative Consultative Policy, 2014 is followed.

They questioned the hurried process amidst lockdown. “The Act itself is violative of SC Judgement in NALSA vs UoI, 2014” they said in a letter to the Minister.

Signatories are from Manipur, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Karnataka, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala etc. Activists allege, mere 12 days time for ‘feedback’, when trans community is struggling for basic survival due to lockdown impact is grossly insensitive.

To, 30th April, 2020

The Hon’ble Minister,

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment,

Government of India,

New Delhi

Sub: Response on the ‘Announcement’ by the MoSJE seeking public feedback for the

Draft Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 – Reg

Sir,

We, the undersigned members of the transgender community are writing to you with a great deal of urgency and concern regarding the recent announcement put out by your Ministry, seeking “comments / suggestions / feedback” on the Draft Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020[1], prepared as per sub-section (1) and (2) of Section 22 the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019. The deadline for submission of feedback has been decided as 30th April, 2020.

As you are aware, the process for enactment of the said legislation began with the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India (2014) 5 SCC 438, (15th April, 2014) and went through many stages, including a Private Member Bill, Report of the Standing Committee, many versions proposed by the MoSJE, eventually leading to the Act being passed and receiving Presidential assent on 10th January, 2020.

As members of the transgender community from across the country we have been very active through all these stages and have constantly been communicating to your Ministry our serious reservations regarding the non-consultative manner in which the Act was passed as well as many of the deeply problematic provisions in the Act, which fundamentally go against the grain of NALSA as well as our constitutional rights as equal citizens.

Now that the Ministry has decided to “seek feedback” on the Draft Rules, we wish to place the following points on record.

  1. You are very much aware that the constitutional vires of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 is impugned before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in multiple petitions. Since the matter is sub judice, it would be in the fitness of things to await the verdict of the Court, before proceeding with any rule-making process.
  • We are also pained and shocked to note the timing and manner of ‘seeking feedback’, when the entire country has been under mandatory lockdown since a month and millions of working class people including the entire transgender community has been facing a severe crisis of survival, food insecurity, lack of access to health care and livelihood.  (and no supportive package has been declared for the entire community).
  • You would also kindly appreciate that the said announcement for feedback is inconsistent with the Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy (PLCP), 2014 of the Govt. of India, which must invariably be followed by all Ministries and Departments in formulating principal and sub-ordinate legislation (rule-making).  According to the said policy, all details pertaining to the proposed Bill / Rules must be placed in public domain for a period of at least 30 days and communicated to public at large through print, electronic, audio and visual means. The Policy also envisages a process for consultation with the specific communities / groups affected by such laws / rules.  

However, in the present instance, the Rules were uploaded on the website of MoSJE only on the 18th April and feedback is expected by 30th April (within 12 days), that too at a time when the nation is in lockdown, no physical interaction between members of the community is possible for deliberations or consultations and trans gender people are struggling for basic survival. Besides, the Rules have been placed only on the website and in English, while a majority of the community neither has access to web-based portals or the English language. An Act which claims to be ‘inclusive’ cannot adopt a rule-making process so exclusionary.

Considering the aforesaid submissions, we earnestly urge your Ministry not to proceed with the rule-making process of the Act until:

  1. The matters pending before the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the Act are fully decided and provisions of NALSA are complied with.
  • The lockdown is fully lifted and the situation of transgender people returns to at least a degree of ‘pre-lockdown normalcy’.
  • The provisions of the PLCP Policy are complied with in true letter and spirit, including grant of adequate time and consultation with the community, after lockdown.

We also wish to convey that even if certain responses to the Draft Rules are received from individuals / groups, the same should not be treated as representative of the entire transgender community across the country. The window for response to the draft Rules must be kept open for adequate time after lockdown is lifted, when the community is in a position to consult and submit feedback.

We earnestly hope that the Ministry would undertake a broad-based and inclusive process of consultation before proceeding with any aspect of framing Rules that would affect lakhs of transgender persons across the country.

Yours truly,

  1. Grace Banu, Trans Rights Now Collective, Tamil Nadu
  2. Santa Khurai, All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association (AMANA), Manipur
  3. Rachana Mudraboyina, Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti, THITS
  4. Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), Hyderabad
  5. Lipok Ao, Goodwill Welfare Trust, Nagaland
  6. Neel Ebong, Saphho for Equality, Kolkata, West Bengal
  7. Jitu Singh, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
  8. Soundarya, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  9. Gritik, Rohtak, Haryana
  10. Daina Dias, Wajood, Goa
  11. Raina Roy, Samabhbona and Amra Odbhut Café, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  12. Vihaan, Transman, Activist, Kerala
  13. Bittu Karthik Kondaiah, Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti, THITS
  14. Sagar Ingale, Happy Transman Group, Nashik, Maharashtra
  15. Shyam Kamala Balasubramanian, Transmasculine Person, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
  16. Anindya Hajra, Transfeminine person, Pratyay, Gender Trust Kolkata, West Bengal
  17. Dona Marwien, Symphalliange, Meghalaya
  18. Biraja, Student, Odisha
  19. Arindam Saha Kundu (Priyanka), Gour Banglar Sanghati, Malda, West Bengal.
  20. Maya R, Ashakiran Samajika Seva Samajhte, Yadgir, Karnataka
  21. Divya, Sangama, Samara & Karnataka Mangalamukhi Foundation, Yeshwantpur
  22. Moumita Patra, Barackpore, Kolkata
  23. Raahi, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  24. Rahul, Kolkata,
  25. Samantha, Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti, THITS, Hyderabad.
  26. Abhay Thakkar, Delhi
  27. Mishuk Manna, Howrah, The Happy Transman Group
  28. Bindu, Ashodhaya, Mysore, Karnataka
  29. Ankitha G Gowda, Sangama, Kodagu, Karnataka.                      
  30. Sudheer, Muskan Sanstha, Sangli, Maharashtra
  31. Bhanupriya, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  32. Aadvik Verma, Delhi,
  33. Prathiksha, Hosadurga, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Karnataka
  34. Varsha, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka
  35. Usha. Sangama, Karnataka.
  36. Inchara, Payana & Sangama, Karnataka.
  37. Sakshi, Hiriyur, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Karnataka.
  38. Supriya, Sangama, Dabaspet, Karanataka
  39. Nisha Gulur, Sangama, Bangalore, Karnataka
  40. Krithika, Samara, Sheshadripuram, Bangalore
  41. Nitheli, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  42. Bhavana, Samara, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  43. Eranna, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Chellakare, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  44. Mohamed Umar, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hirayur, Karnataka.
  45. Prabavathi, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hosadurga, Karnataka.
  46. Karthika, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  47. Swadhana, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  48. Ashwini Rajan, Sammilana Samsthe, Kolar, Karnataka
  49. Radhika, Sankalp Trust, Karnataka
  50. Jennifer, Samastha, Karnataka
  51. Anu, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hosadurga, Karnataka.
  52. Roopa, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  53. Suraj, Transman, Delhi.
  54. Neha, Saathi, Warangal, Telangana
  55. Prapulladevi K N, Bangalore, Karnataka
  56. Jeeva, Sangama, Bangalore, Karnataka
  57. Vandana, Payana, Bangalore, Karnataka
  58. Chinnu P S Karnataka Ashakiran Samajika Seva Samajhte, Yadgir, Karnataka
  59. Sonu, Payana, Bangalore, Karnataka
  60. Mallika, Hiriyur, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Karnataka.
  61. Suma, Samara Society, Bangalore, Karnataka
  62. Alikeya, Hiriyur, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Karnataka.
  63. Dustu, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  64. Shivank Singh, Delhi
  65. Sayantika Mondal, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  66. Reecha, Ashodhaya, Mysore, Karnataka.
  67. Kavya, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  68. Mamatha, Village Dinka, Taluk, Pandavapura, Mandya, Karnataka.
  69. Sneha, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  70. Abhay Thakkar, Delhi
  71. Navya, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  72. Ramesh, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  73. Nagma, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  74. Kaushal Bodwal, Hasratein, A Queer Collective.
  75. Rudraneel Dhar, Kolkata, West Bengal
  76. Nimith, Ashodhaya, Mysore, Karnataka.
  77. Apsara, Sangama, Mysore, Karnataka.
  78. Madhumitha, Sangama, Mysore, Karnataka.
  79. Thamanahiriyur, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  80. Prathima, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  81. Sana Roy, Sangama, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  82. Kabir Beakta, The Happy Transman Group, Mumbai, Maharashtra,
  83. Sandy Talukdar, West Bengal
  84. Rian Ghos, Kolkata
  85. Veena, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  86. Karno Bhattacharjee. Transman, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  87. Prabha, Debaspete, Sangama, Karnataka
  88. Neel Yadav, Gurgaon
  89. Arush Mondal, Transman, Kolkata, West Bengal
  90. Kishu Bhati, Law student, Greater Noida
  91. Chandana, Samara, Mandya, Karnataka
  92. Soujanya, Samara, Mandya, Karnataka
  93. Souharya Das, Kolkata
  94. Madhushree, Store work, Ramanagara, Karnataka
  95. Monisha, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  96. Neelam, Haryana
  97. Diksha, Sangama, Kodagu Kushalnaga, Karnataka.
  98. Arti J, Karnataka Magalamuki Foundation, Bangalore.
  99. Manik, Transman, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  100. Siddharta Pal, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  101. Advik Verma, Delhi
  102. Inchra, Payana, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  103. Sachi, Sangama & Payana, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  104. Anirudhha Dutta, Associate Prof, University of Iowa
  105. Yaana, Sangama, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  106. Mayuri Allvekar, President, Maitri Foundation, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  107. Adv. Mukul Inamdar, Pune, Maharashtra
  108. Sadhya Pawar, Mumbai Maharashtra
  109. Manjula, Sangama, Mandya, Karnataka
  110. Pratyush Dey, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  111. Bubun Chakraborty, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  112. Lipika, Sangama & Samara, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  113. Swapna, Payana, Bangalore
  114. Nithya, Payana, Bangalore
  115. Sneha, Payana, Bangalore
  116. Dhana, Bangalore,
  117. Prakruthi, Sangama, Koraterege, Tumkur, Karnataka.
  118. Sangeetha, Samara Society Bangalore, Karnataka,
  119. Keerthi, Sangama, Mandya, Karnataka.
  120. Vasant, Samara, Bangalore, Karnataka.
  121. Sarika, Mandya, Sangama, Karnataka.
  122. Kruplai Bidaye, Mumbai
  123. Sagnik Paul, West Bengal
  124. Aruna, Murshidabad, West Bengal
  125. Amrita Saha, Kolkata, West Bengal
  126. Vihaan, Transman, Delhi
  127. Gollapalli Kiran Raj, Society for Transmen Action and Rights, AP And Telangana.
  128. Sonika, Samara Society, Jayanagar, Bangalore, Karnataka
  129. Sumithra, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  130. Thanushree, Karnataka Mangalamukhi Foundation Bangalore, Karnataka
  131. Gowthami, Mysore, Karnataka,
  132. Somuya, Humsafar, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  133. Reecha, Vahini Samudaya Samathe, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  134. Niharika Banerjea, Ambedkar University, Delhi & Sappho for Equality
  135. Sumita Beethi, Sappho for Equality Kolkata, West Bengal
  136. Sutanuka Bhattacharya, Student Ambedkar University Delhi, Sappho for Equality
  137. Archee Roy, Sappho for Equality, Kolkata, West Bengal
  138. Rituparna Bhattacharya, Kolkata, West Bengal
  139. Kanakaraj Kellodu, Vahini Samudaya Samsthe, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
  140. Rayan Dey, Kolkata
  141. Dr. Sanskar Gosai, Mahuva
  142. Saransh Srivastava, Happy Transman Group, Delhi
  143. Nishu Vats, Happy Transman Group, Bangalore.
  144. Sivam Laha, Howrah, West Bengal
  145. Nayan Tendulkar, Happy Transman Group, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  146. Amay Bannerjee, Kolkata, West Bengal
  147. Avinaba Dutta (Avi), Kolkata, West Bengal
  148. Ray, Trans Rights Activist, New Delhi
  149. Chandramukhi, THITS, Hyderabad.
  150. Faisu Faisal, Trans activist, Kerala.
  151. Anjali, Trans activist, Andhra Pradesh
  152. Ganga Bhavani, Anatapur, Andhra Pradesh,
  153. Vinnu, Hyderabad.
  154. Anchal, Hyderabad.
  155. Neethu, Telangana.
  156. Meera Jasmine, Hyderabad.

Copy to:

  1. The Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India, New Delhi
  2. The Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice, Govt. of India, New Delhi

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