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National News

Nov 26, 2019

Parliament passes Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill

Parliament today passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabha approving it today by a voice vote.

The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill. It defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth.

It provides every transgender person a right to reside and be included in his household.

The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person including denial of service, unfair treatment in education, employment, healthcare, enjoyment of goods, facilities, opportunities available to the public, right to movement and right to reside.

As per the legislation, no government or private entity can discriminate against a transgender person in employment matters including recruitment and promotion.

Replying to a debate on the bill, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot said that wider consultations have been made while framing the rules of this legislation. He said recommendations of the Standing Committee directions of the Supreme Court and the suggestions of the members of the Rajya Sabha have been taken into consideration.

The Minister said there is no lacuna in the bill, and it contains all the provisions which are required for the welfare of the transgender.

He said the bill will take forward transgenders and bring them into the mainstream. He said a grievance redressal mechanism has been set up for the issues related to transgender.

Mr. Gehlot said the government has implemented several welfare schemes for the upliftment of transgenders, like scholarships in education and provision for a credit facility. Before passing the bill, the House negated with voting DMK member Tiruchi Siva's demand to send the bill to a Select Committee.

Earlier, participating in the discussion, Tiruchi Siva said only passing the bill will not serve the purpose. He said it must be passed in a comprehensive and wholesome manner. He said this bill requires more deliberations as some of the clauses are ambiguous in nature.

He suggested that the Statutory Commission like SC-ST Commission may be set up to resolve the grievances of the transgender. He also appealed that punishment prescribed under the bill for sexual abuse of transgenders must be re-fixed on the lines of punishment clauses set for other rape cases.

Mr. Siva urged that reservation must be provided in the employment and education to transgenders.

V. Vijay Sai Reddy of YSR Congress said this is a much-needed bill for the welfare of the transgender which are facing humiliation and discrimination in the present. He suggested that the bill must be sent to the Select Committee for further deliberations.

Derek O'Brien of the TMC appealed to the government to rethink about the bill and send it for further examination to the Select Committee. He said as per the present bill, punishment for sexual abuses of transgenders is six months to 2 years. He said the duration of punishment must be increased for sexual abuses.

K Keshav Rao of TRS also demanded that the bill be referred to the Select Committee. He said, the legislation does not have adequate penal provisions on discrimination against transgenders, and the definition of transgenders is also controversial.  Satish Mishra of BSP also questioned certain provisions of the bill.

Rupa Ganguly of BJP and Navneet Krishnan of AIADMK highlighted the need for the legislation. Several other members also participated in the discussion.


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