Aradhana, a transgender woman, filed a petition before High Court of Madras against an advertisement inviting applications for the post of Grade II constable. She argued that the advertisement did not allow a relaxation in the age limit of applications submitted by transgender persons.
A single judge had passed an interim order, directing the Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (“Board”) to keep one post vacant for Aradhana. The Chairman filed an appeal against the order in the Madras High Court.
ISSUES & DECISION:
The issue before the court was whether the interim order passed by the single Judge was permissible.
The court referred to the Supreme Court’s judgement in NALSA Vs Union Of India to argue that transgender persons were eligible for reservations in education and public employment. Further, it held that age relaxations that were permissible to ex-servicemen and destitute widows should also extend to transgender persons.
Additionally, the court argued for a wholesome reading of the NALSA decision, emphasising the Supreme Court’s intent behind the decision. It drew attention to the long-standing oppression and marginalisation of the transgender community in India.
The court argued that the government must take proactive action to uplift the social status of transgender persons. Thus, it disposed the appeal petition and upheld the single judge’s interim order to keep one post vacant for Aradhana.
This case was significant in relaxing the conditions for public employment for transgender persons. In addition, it emphasised the social exclusion and oppression faced by transgender persons which limits their access to opportunities.