Case Name: National Legal Services Authority (Petitioner) v Union of India & Ors. (Respondent). Court Name: Supreme Court of India.
Bench: J., K.S. Radhakrishnan & J., A.K. Sikri.
Date of Decision: April 15, 2014.
Citation: AIR 2014 SC 1863.
Statement of Facts:
1. The National Legal Services Authority filed a writ petition no. 400 of 2012 seeking relief that Hijras/ Eunuchs/ Transgenders (herein after refer as TG) be given legal status as ‘third gender’ with legal and constitutional provision. 2. Non-recognition of the identity of Hijras, a TG community, as a third gender, denies them the right of equality before the law and equal protection of law. Transgender people, as a whole, face multiple forms of oppression in the country. Discrimination is so large and pronounced, especially in the field of health care, employment, education, leave aside social exclusion. Issues:
1. Whether person has a right to be recognised himself as male or female irrespective of sex in which he/she was born? 2. Whether Transgenders who are neither male nor female have right to be identified as ‘third gender’? Rule of Law/ Legal Principle Applied:
1. Article 14 has used the expression “person” and the Article 15 has used the expression “citizen” and “sex” so also Article 16. Article 19 has also used the expression “citizen”. Article 21 has used the expression “person”. All these expressions are “gender neutral”. 2. Article 21 takes all those aspects of life which go to make a person’s life meaningful. Article 21 protects the dignity of human life, one’s personal autonomy, one’s right to privacy, etc. Right to dignity is recognized as an essential part of the right to life and accrues to all persons on account of being humans. 3. Article 6 and Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 and Article 16 and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR) recognize that every human being has the inherent right to live and...
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