A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court for equal protection from sexual crimes for the transgender community under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
It highlighted specifically that there is no provision in the IPC that protects transgenders from sexual assault by any male, female or another and is violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution of India as clauses (i), (ii) and (iv) of sub-section (1) of Section 354A of IPC exclude victims of sexual harassment who are trans.
The plea has been moved by Advocate Reepak Kansal.
The plea establishes that the “State cannot discriminate transgenders on the ground of gender, violating Articles 14 to 16 and 21 of the Constitution of India.” and further stated that statistics reveal that there are shockingly high levels of sexual abuse and assault where one in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives.
“In-spite of declaring transgender people to be a “Third Gender” by this Hon’ble Court, there is no provision/section in the Indian penal code which may protect the third gender from the sexual assault by male/female or another trans.”
The petition stated that the greatest and most inclusive constitutional provision is Article 21, which states that no person shall be deprived of life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law
The plea seeks appropriate modification/interpretation of Sections/provisions of IPC dealing with sexual assault to include transgender/transsexuals/Kinnar and eunuchs in the definitions under IPC and seeks a direction to the government to make gender-neutral laws dealing with sexual harassment mechanisms.Plea has also prayed for an anti-discrimination bill that penalizes discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender is passed by the legislature.