SC notice to Central Govt in PIL seeking protection for transgenders against sexual offences

The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the Central Government in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking equal protection for the transgender community against sexual offences.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Reepak Kansal.

(LtoR)- Justice A S Bopanna, CJI S A Bobde and Justice V. Ramasubramanian.

Agreeing to examine the PIL, the bench asked Senior Counsel Vikas Singh, representing the petitioner to place before it a list of issues on which the Court had ‘legislated’ and laid down guidelines in the past.

In his plea, Kansal stated that there was no provision in the IPC that protects transgenders from sexual assault by any male, female or another transgender.

Referring to Section 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) of the IPC, the petitioner submitted that this provision excluded victims of sexual harassment who are transgender persons, which is violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution of India.

It is also averred that statistics revealed that there were shockingly high levels of sexual abuse and assault, where one in two transgender individuals had been sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives.