A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian of Supreme Court today issued notice in a PIL seeking equal protection against sexual offences for transgender community after noting that there are no such provisions in the Indian Penal Code.
The Court also asked Senior Counsel Vikas Singh, representing petitioner Advocate Reepak Kansal, to place before it a list of issues on which the Court has “legislated” and laid down guidelines for sexual offences for transgender.
Contentions in the Plea
Last month, a petition seeking equal protection from sexual offences for transgender community under the Indian Penal Code was filed before the Supreme Court.
The plea highlighted that there is no provision in the IPC that protects transgenders from sexual assault by any male, female or another transgender.
The plea stated that clauses (i), (ii) and (iv) of sub-section (1) of Section 354A of IPC exclude victims of sexual harassment who are transgender persons, which is violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution of India.
It is also averred 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.
The plea, therefore, 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.
It further seeks a direction to the government to make gender-neutral laws dealing with sexual harassment mechanisms.