The LexGaze Weekly - HOPE

The long battle for equality - A step closer

Yamika Khanna

Issue 18 | October 18, 2020

The Supreme Court recently issued a notice in a plea seeking equal protection of laws to the transgender community from sexual crimes concerning the Indian Penal Code.

The plea states that there are no explicit provisions or sections in the IPC that protect the third gender from sexual assault and anti-discrimination laws are needed to safeguard the Transgender community. The same is considered to be violative of the basic tenants of the constitution, mainly violating Article 14, 15 and 21.

The plea highlighted that "greatest and most inclusive constitutional provision is Article 21 states that no person shall be deprived of life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law commonly understood as "Right to life `` includes'' Right to live with dignity". In this context, it adds that "due to said sexual assault /hate crime, transgender could not live their lives with respect and dignity".

Furthermore, the petitioner's stated that despite the progressive approach adopted by the Hon'ble Court of recognising Transgender as the third gender, close to no attempts have been made to protect them against crimes that are sexual in nature, failing to seek protection under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The petition further asserted that "Sexual assaults can be perpetrated by any individual; however, it is particularly startling when professionals who are in "helping" roles abuse their power and sexually assault individuals they are supposed to be serving. 15% of transgender individuals report being sexually assaulted while in police custody or jail. The main reason is that there is no security of transgender and they put in jail with male convicted. There are no separate jails or wards or security to transgender".

The petition has been applauded by the Hon'ble Court and the same has been compared to the petitions that paved way for remarkable actions by the Court such as by issuing the Vishakha guidelines.


1. The Supreme Court allowed NEET tests to be conducted on October 14 for students who missed the exam on September 13 due to COVID-19 or due to being stuck in containment zones.

2. The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday slashed the fees charged by private schools in the State by 20%.

3. The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the Tamil Nadu Government notification declaring an 'Elephant Corridor' in the Sigur Plateau of Nilgiris District.

4. A wife is also entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household belonging to relatives of the husband, the Supreme Court has held on Thursday in an important judgment overruling the 2006 judgment in S.R. Batra vs Taruna Batra.

5. The Supreme Court has appointed a One Man Committee of Justice (Retd.) Madan B. Lokur to monitor and take steps to prevent stubble burning in the states of Punjab, Haryana & Uttar Pradesh.

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