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Gauhati High Court seeks government's response on appropriate health measures taken for transgenders

The Gauhati High Court has directed the State Government to take appropriate health measures for transgenders.

Gauhati High Court

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  15 Nov 2021 3:17 AM GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court has directed the State Government to take appropriate health measures for transgenders.

On October 7, 2021, the Gauhati High Court, during a hearing on a PIL (PIL/74/2018) filed by Swati Bidhan Baruah, had asked the Union and State governments to specify what steps they have taken for education, health and social security of transgender people as per Sections 13, 14 and 15 of Chapter VI of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019. In this regard, the State Government filed an affidavit in the court wherein it was stated that there was some confusion as to whether the State Government would be the appropriate government to take such necessary measures as contemplated under Sections 13, 14, 15 of the Act.

Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Malasri Nandi, during a hearing on the PIL on November 11, 2021, stated, "As regards this, we are of the tentative view that the State Government would be the appropriate Government as regards all those measures mentioned therein except those which are implicitly or explicitly excluded from the purview of the State Government. In this regard, one may refer to Section 2 of the 2019 Act, which states that 'appropriate Government' means –

(i) in relation to the Central Government or any establishment, wholly or substantially financed by that Government, the Central Government;

(ii) in relation to a State Government or any establishment, wholly or substantially financed by that Government, or any local authority, the State Government."

The court said that Section 8 of the Act "provides that the appropriate Government shall take steps to secure full and effective participation of transgender persons and their inclusion in society and the appropriate Government shall take such welfare measures as may be prescribed to protect the rights and interests of transgender persons, and facilitate their access to welfare schemes framed by that Government".

The court further stated that "the measures to be undertaken as provided under Section 15 by the appropriate Government, are to be undertaken by the State Government so far as such role is not implicitly or explicitly excluded from the purview of the State Government".

The matter was adjourned to 13.12.2021 for the government to file the necessary affidavit. The court order said, "We would also like to caution the respondents that if there is any undue delay in filing the affidavit, the Court may consider imposing appropriate costs on the concerned authorities."

Also Read: Transgenders Attack Lakhimpur Couple in Paltan Bazar, Guwahati, Video Goes Viral

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