Prima facie, prayers are reasonable: Delhi High Court in PIL for separate data on transgender prisoners in NCRB report
“Prima facie, the prayers are very pertinent and reasonable”, said the Delhi High Court today in a PIL seeking inclusion of separate data on transgender prisoners in reports prepared by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) [Karan Tripathi v. NCRB & ors].
By Aditi Singh
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked counsel for the Central government to take instructions on the issue.
Noting that the petitioner’s representation to the NCRB was pending before a designated committee, Justice Jalan said,
“The Committee should not say no (to the prayers)”.
The petitioner has asserted that to ensure equality and protection under Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India, it is imperative to categorize the third gender/transgenders as a separate gender in prison statistics.
The petition reads,
“The absence of proper statistics on the number of transgender prisoners in India raises grave concerns over not only on the treatment of such prisoners, but also on the process of gender determination while collecting these prison statistics. It is not uncommon to learn about incidents of atrocities in jails with transgenders, and without the transparency/recognition of transgenders in the Prison Statistics India, these atrocities are only likely to increase exponentially.”
Relying heavily on the Supreme Court’s verdict in NALSA v Union of India, the petitioner has argued that unless transgender inmates are recognised, the guidelines passed by the Supreme Court to protect their rights cannot be implemented.
It is also pointed out that the lack of data on transgender prisoners also prevents policy makers, lawmakers, researchers and other stakeholders from carrying out affirmative research and advocacy work.
The petitioner was represented by Advocate Akhil Hasija. It was filed through Advocates Yash Mishra, Akhil Hasija and Manyaa Chandok of Alliance Law Group.
The Centre was represented by Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma and Standing Counsel Harish Vaidyanathan.
Courtesy : Bar and Bench