New Delhi [India], December 1 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought to know the stand of the National Crime Records Bureau on the public suit seeking directions to classify transgenders as a separate third gender in their annual publication of prison statistics.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma to take instructions from the respondent and listed the matter for further hearing on December 7.
The court was hearing public interest litigation (PIL), filed by law graduate Karan Tripathi, seeking immediate intervention of the court as the process of data collection for the next annual publication of the Prison Statistics report 2020 by the NCRB has already underway.
Tripathi's advocates Yash Mishra and Akhil Hasija urged the Delhi High Court to issue directions to the concerned prison authorities and departments to maintain data on transgender prisoners or inmates in each and every document or report required to be maintained by the authorities concerned and departments as per laws applicable.
The plea said that to date, only two genders appear in the Prison Statistics India report published by the NCRB -- male and female -- to the complete exclusion of the third gender.
"In light of the growing neglect towards the welfare of the transgender community, especially during the COVID-19 and denial of basic necessities to the transgender community in general, it is difficult to imagine the state of transgender prisoners in jails where they are not even recognised as a third gender on paper, let alone in the reality behind the bars," the plea said.
The plea also urged the High Court to direct the Central government and the NCRB to issue directions to the concerned prison authorities and departments to maintain data on transgender prisoners, inmates in each and every document or report required to be maintained by the said authorities and departments as per laws applicable.
It also sought directions to NCRB to take appropriate action to ensure proper implementation of the directions/guidelines passed by the Supreme Court of India in the matter titled "National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India".
The plea also sought directions to the government to take appropriate action to ensure implementation of the recommendations made in the 2014 report, by the Expert Committee on issues relating to transgenders acting under aegis and directions, in compliance with the direction of the Supreme Court.
It sought the formulation of appropriate rules and laws that will govern the protection of rights of the marginalised transgender community in the prisons. (ANI)