Kerala HC: “World has progressed, you can’t remain in 19th Century……” to Central Govt

Kerala HC: “World has progressed, you can’t remain in 19th Century……” to Central Govt

A petition was filed by a Transgender Woman challenging Section 6 of National Cadet Corps (NCC) Act, 1948; in which accordingly the legislation allows only ‘males or females’ enrolment as NCC cadets.

Today, during the course of hearing, the counsel appearing for NCC Dayasindhu Shreehari has insisted that the refusing petitioner’s enrolment under NCC Act was not discrimination and further sought an additional time to file its counter-affidavit on record.

 While hearing, a single judge bench of Justice Devan Ramchandra has observed that “……………The world has progressed, you cannot remain in the 19th Century…….This is an unfortunate stance the Government of India is taking…”

The court has censured Central Govt.’s exclusion of Transgender candidates enrolling in NCC. Further, the Judge has remarked that there are three Genders called Male, Female & Transgender.

In its Plea, the petitioner has emphasized that the inclusion of sexual minorities such as transgender persons is necessary to address the rampant marginalisation and discrimination faced by them.

Here, the petitioner is a Student at the University College, Thiruvananthapuram, and also underwent two sex reassignment surgeries. The Petitioner has obtained a transgender identity card under the Kerala government’s Transgender Policy, 2015.

Further, the Petitioner has urged the Court’s intervention to allow her to be a part of the enrolment process this year as interim relief. And also stated that the provision under NCC Act is unconstitutional and arbitrary.

Upon hearing, the Counsel Shreehari has submitted that pursuant to the Court’s previous order, no prejudice has been caused to the Petitioner by the NCC. This prompted the Judge to underscore that “….It is not a question of prejudice; it’s the attitude of the authorities that I’m worried about….”

Additionally, the Judge opined that it should have been the government that stated that it was allowing enrolment of Transgender, whatever the law stated. And also Government of India ought to have amended the NCC Act to make provision for Transgender in country.

The Petitioner further sought a direction to the NCC to suitably amend the enrolment criteria in NCC Act allowing the enrolments of Transgender.

Therefore, the Court however, posted the matter after 10 days.