The Petitioner in this case was assigned male at birth. Later, by a sworn affidavit before the Judicial Magistrate, they identified themselves as a transgender person. However, they had obtained employment with the State Police as a ‘lady’ with the name Pallabi Chakraborty. This happened after the enactment of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (‘Trans Act’).
Relying on the provisions of the 2019 Act, the Petitioner sought for posts to be provided for the transgender category and sought to participate in such recruitment.
ISSUE AND DECISION:
As per the High Court, the Petitioner had joined public employment as a ‘lady’ already, they could not be permitted to ‘turn around and now claim the status of transgender’. Therefore, the Court said that the principal relief sought in the writ petition could not be granted.
However, the Court noted that there was no Grievance Redressal Mechanism set up, either in the State or the police force. Therefore, the Court directed the Chief Secretary of the State to take immediate steps to set it up, as required by section 11 of the Trans Act.
The order has diluted the significance of the NALSA v. Union of India judgment which held that a transgender person, irrespective of sexual reassignment surgery, is legally entitled to determine their gender identity. The Court erroneously held that the Petitioner could not claim her status as transgender once she had claimed employment as a woman.
However, this is one of the first cases under the Trans Act that ordered the setting up of a Grievance Redressal Mechanism under the Act.