The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, on 25th September 2020, notified the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020. The Rules were issued in exercise of its powers conferred under Section 22 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 (‘2019 Act’). The Rules have addressed the following points:
- Certificate of Identity: Rule 3 prescribes that the application for obtaining a Certificate of Identity must be submitted, either by post or online, to the District Magistrate within whose jurisdiction the transgender person resides. There are two exceptions under sub-rule (2). First, the government may make special provisions for submission for transgender persons living in remote areas. Second, an application for the certificate for a minor child may be made by a parent, guardian or the competent authority under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015. Sub-rule (3) makes it clear that such an application procedure does not apply to those transgender persons who have officially recorded their change in gender before the coming into force of the 2019 Act.
- Rule 4 reaffirms that the District Magistrate ought to process the application solely based on the affidavit submitted by the transgender person and that there is no requirement for a medical or physical examination. Rule 6 states that a revised certificate, which certifies a change of gender to the opposite gender (male or female), which may be obtained only if the individual undergoes ‘medical intervention’ to change their gender either as a male or a female. This could be any gender-affirming medical intervention undertaken by an individual to facilitate the transition to their self-identified gender, including but not limited to counselling, hormonal therapy, and surgical intervention.
- Welfare measures: Rule 10 provides that a Welfare Board be constituted to facilitate the access to schemes and welfare measures taken by the Government for the protection of transgender persons’ rights. The Rules further indicate that the Government must review all existing social, educational and health schemes to include transgender persons and to formulate new schemes to be transgender sensitive, non-stigmatizing and non-discriminatory. They direct the creation of infrastructural facilities such as separate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) sero-surveillance centres, separate wards in hospitals, washrooms in establishments, temporary shelters and short-stay homes within two years from the coming into force of the Rules.
- Provisions of Non-Discrimination: The Rules have provided mechanisms for ensuring non-discrimination of transgender persons in public life. For example, the Rules require setting up a Transgender Protection Cell under the charge of the District Magistrate and the Director-General of Police to monitor cases of offences against transgender persons.
- Equal Opportunity in Employment: Rule 11 provides that all establishments shall ensure that they provide a safe environment and equal opportunities by incorporating infrastructure adjustments, recruitment, employment benefits and promotion for transgender persons. It is mandatory for all establishments to publish their Equal Opportunity policy.
- Grievance Redressal: Rules direct the Government to establish a grievance redressal mechanism within one year and put into place a monitoring system for tracking the complaints. Further, Rule 13 provides that the complaints officer should be appointed. They should inquire into complaints within 15 days of receiving the complaint and the resolution of grievances should take place within 30 days from the filing.
- National Council: The Rules state that the National Institute of Social Defence shall give secretarial assistance to facilitate the discharge of functions of the National Council for Transgender Persons.
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CLPR believes in complete dissemination of information. Towards this end, CLPR has translated the text into Kannada for wider dissemination among the local transgender community in Karnataka. This translation is made in a private capacity by CLPR and is not an official version.
READ THE FULL TEXT IN KANNADA HERE