‘Is it possible for transgenders to be legal and free?’ - The Daily Guardian
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‘Is it possible for transgenders to be legal and free?’

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Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity is different from the sex identities assigned at the time of birth. The meaning of the prefix ‘trans’ is across or beyond and the gender of a person is culturally and socially constructed. From the afore-mentioned meaning of the two terms, it can be construed that the term transgender is beyond the assigned sex identity at the time of birth. To be more specific, it is the opposite of standard forms of sex, i.e., male and female. Sex is in conformity with chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. Gender relates to socially assigned roles of men and women that are set up in the society. People who identify themselves neither as men nor women are in contrast to the socially set up roles of gender. They are considered different by the people who identify themselves as straight men and women. And this is the reason that they are called ‘transgender’.

Transgender people have existed since ancient times. There are various traces of the trans people found in different books, pictures, arts, crafts, works, mythological stories, epics, culture, songs, poems and different other identified and unidentified sources. These sources from the past make clear that transgender people have historical background in various countries all over the world and existed since ages. The phenomenon is not new but is highlighted in all the ages including today. Archaeological and historical studies are continuously making efforts to understand the literature from the remains of past. These studies assist the present researches grow better and reasonable. The surveys conducted by archaeologists are making the transgender studies objective, concrete and empirical. The contribution of historical background cannot be ignored to understand the problems and issues that exist in the society at present. If the issues concerning the origin, problems and behavioral patterns of the trans community are studied from the past, it will help the new researches to be analytical, free of prejudices, scientific, fact-based, observational, logical, data-oriented and statistically examined. This will help in removal of socially constructed patriarchies. History binds, shapes, create and helps in understanding the issues of society. The gender identity related to trans people can be studied through previous researches and interpretations of people in the books, mythologies, epics, incidents and various other forms of art and literature. As per the above-mentioned article of Prof. Whittle, German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld has used the word ‘transvestite’ in the year 1910. Magnus later developed the Berlin Institute where the very first ‘sex change’ operations took place. The term ‘transsexual’ was not coined until 1949, ‘transgender’ not until 1971 and ‘trans’ (a very British term) not until 1996. For instance, Prof Stephen Whittle has outlined a brief history of transgender issues and highlighted the origin of several terms of transgender vocabulary in an article for The Guardian.

If we look deep into the transgender community and their position in India, this community existed in India even in the Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Trans people have also played an important role during medieval era. Muslim rulers of Mughal Empire in the 15th to 19th centuries were considered patrons of third gender Indians. They were employed to take care of the harems and queens.

Inspite of all this presence of the trans people in the human history, the community faces challenges at different levels in the society. These people have to undergo discrimination at all facets of life. Starting from their homes to the place they work, they only manage to survive with a number of pressing difficulties; the community has to face discrimination at large. Trans people are not treated as normal human beings. They too have basic life processes, including respiration, digestion, urination and excretion. This is somewhat similar to the set categories of sex, i.e., male and female. But unlike the straight people, the community has not been accepted by the regressive society, they are ill-treated and have economic backwardness.

They are alienated from the mainstream of society. This alienation of the trans people from the mainstream is violative of Article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. The fact that they have right to life is not recognized even after several revolutionary judgments by the Supreme Court of India. Trans people are treated as socially unfit and are deprived of the basic fundamental rights. However, these rights should not be only limited to male and female; and should be made accessible for everyone including the trans persons also. The approach of the trans society towards the trans community is regressive and is breaking the constitutional values of equality, liberty and justice. The society should make efforts to protect the rights of dispossessed class of society including the trans people. But, the biased thinking of the so-called straight people is breaking the basic soul of Constitutional values by treating them as different people, making them feel discriminated, restricting their freedom and infringing their right to life and personal liberty. Fundamental rights are the basic to an individual; they are needed for survival and to lead the life. When these basic rights are denied either by legislation or by any social group, nothing can be worse than that.

In general, if a family is not welcoming a transgender child, they go to live with their community. Unlike straight community, they are not given humanitarian behavior by their family. But as per the provisions of the said Act, if a family does not welcome a transgender child to their own family, the Court will decide further the residence and send that child to the rehabilitation Centre. Basically, rehabilitation centers are for getting someone’s life to normally, if a person has become abnormal due to any kid of disease, accident or situation. Now the question that arises here is: Are transgender people abnormal? The idea against the argument is that the day they are considered as abnormal species, they are included in the category of abnormal human beings and so they are discriminated by the society. They breathe like normal human beings; their basic life processes are similar to the straight community. They eat, breathe and lead their lives. The legislation is showing that they are abnormal beings and thus creating differences among the human beings.

This segregation of the trans people, though a product of patriarchally hegemonistic social structure, has been normalized. This normalization of the alienation of the transgenders has been perpetrated by the ideological institutions of society such as family, marriage, university, film, literature, etc. Through these propagandist tools, straight people have been regarded as the standard, while the trans population has been scoffed at, ridiculed, and relegated to the peripheral subaltern positions. This otherization of the trans has encompassed every point of the human society. It has been culturally transmitted to the succeeding generations and it is almost impossible to shatter this canonized hierarchy of heterosexual binary of males and females. Anything that goes against the fixed notion of sex binaries has been sidelined as something irreligious and blasphemous.

Despite this coerced normalization of the transgenders segregation some bright light is entering the dark chambers of the stratified social structure. French legal system has maintained humanitarian aids to trans people upto some extent. It can be noted that adoption by a single individual is permitted in France. Civil rights are basic for any democracy, and opening up the possibility of adoption by a single homosexual can be called a revolutionary step. European Court of Human Rights opined that it will not be reasonable to advance the treatment regarding the applicant’s sexual orientation as it would amount to discriminatory practices.

Under the laws of United Kingdom, lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are protected from discrimination. Equality Act, 2010 provides provisions that an adoption agency must assess the trans person fairly using the same criteria as is designed for the straight male and female community. The authorities could not turn down the application for adoption based on their sexuality.

Not only this, marital rights to trans community also exist in some countries. The case of Corbett v. Corbett is the genesis of all transgender marriages since 1970. In the case of MT v. JT, MT male had a vagina and was able to function sexually as a female. Thereby, she was legally recognized as a female for the purpose of marriage. Considering the judicial pronouncements by Australian Courts, marriage between female to male transgender individual and his wife , a biological female was affirmed valid.

In the backdrop of the marital and adoption rights given to the trans population internationally, Indian courts and judicial system are also democratizing the phenomenon more specifically. It is providing humanitarian aids to trans people. The Preamble of our Constitution talks of ‘liberty’, ‘equality’, ‘justice’, ‘fraternity’ to all the people living in the India, ‘a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic’. The same principles have been taken into consideration by Part III of Indian Constitution, i.e., fundamental rights including Right to Equality, Prohibition against discrimination, right to life and personal dignity and the right to freedom, etc. These fundamental rights exist but the legislations and various norms of societies are not in consonance with the same. There are issues for which there is no legislation even today. Laws are made to govern the society and regulate it. They give power to the weaker and voiceless sections of society. Any kind of absence in the legal provisions may result in the patriarchal systems of our society and this may lead to power centric rule of male dominance.

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Legally Speaking

Supreme Court seeks response of Union and states on plea for guidelines to prevent sexual harassment of students in schools

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The Supreme Court in the case Nakkheeran Gopal v UOI & Or’s observed that any kind of harassment including the sexual harassment being carried out at educational institutions The Court while allowing the writ petition issued a notice seeking protection of children.

The plea stated that there is a vicarious liability upon the State Government to implement any law for the well-being and also for the protection of the children in their respective states.

the petition states that to implement any law for the well-being of children and also for the protection of the children in their respective states, it is the responsibility of the State Government and the plea further mentioned that it the vicarious liability of the State Government and It will be considered the lapse on the part of the State Government if there is Any lapse on the part of the educational institution as it remains a crucial department in the State Government With respect to the relevant organization, including Educational Institution, stated in the plea before the court.

The petitioner argued that till date no specific mandate or the law or the guidelines have been issued by the respective States and inspire of alarming rate in the offence against the children especially at school premises.

The petition further states with this regard that children can also themselves be coerced into becoming tools in furtherance of illegal and dangerous activities and under this circumstance the Increased online time can lead to grooming and both online and offline exploitation.

It is essential to ensure the constitutional right to dignity of children provided under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, while protecting children against sexual abuse when they are exposed to predators, which is compromised, stated by the petitioner in the plea.

The petition states that it indicates immediate concerns and measures for intervention are of paramount significance and further the court stated that this calls for the implementation of legislative actions and community-based interventions through virtual media to prevent a further rise in the statistics and to ensure child protection and when the safety of the children is at stake especially at educational institutions which is supposedly to be the safest shelter, and that too during this tough time. As it is necessary to Protecting the basic rights of children and is of utmost concern as otherwise there will be a posting of a substantial threat to the future and this would leave a regressive impression.

It is the fundamental right of the children under Constitution of India to engage and study in an environment when he/ she feels safe from any kind of emotional or physical abuse and is free, further being argued in the petition.

The bench comprising of Justice Indira Banerjee and the Justice CT Ravikumar observed and sought responses of the Union and the States for guidelines for the educational institutions for the protection of the children and also for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of Children at the educational institutions.

It is essential to ensure the constitutional right to dignity of children provided under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, while protecting children against sexual abuse when they are exposed to predators, which is compromised, stated by the petitioner in the plea.

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IN MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE COMPENSATION CLAIMS, MCI FINDINGS REGARDING DOCTORS’ PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT HAVE GREAT RELEVANCE: SC

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The Supreme Court in the case Harnek Singh vs Gurmit Singh observed while considering medical negligence compensation claims that the findings of the report of Medical Council of India on professional conduct of doctors are relevant.

from the date of SCDRC order as compensation thereafter the court directed the Respondents to pay to the complainants a total amount of Rs. 25,00,000 with interest @ 6% per annum. the complainants have made out a case of medical negligence against Respondents 1 and 2 and are entitled to seek compensation on the ground of deficiency of service and the court hold that the decision of the NCDRC deserves to be set aside. in reversing the findings of the SCDRC and not adverting to the evidence on record including the report of the MCI, the court is of the opinion that the NCDRC has committed an error. The case of medical negligence leading to deficiency in his services, the above-referred findings of the MCI on the conduct of Respondent 1 leave no doubt in our mind that this is certainly, observed by the bench.

The bench further observed that he opinion and findings of the MCI regarding the professional conduct of Respondent 1 have great relevance while referring to the contents in the report of MCI.

The issue raises in the above-mentioned case is weather a professional negligence is established by the complainant as per the standards governing the duty to care of a medical practitioner on the part of Respondent As the NCDRC gave its decision without referring to the MCI finding the complainants/appellants submitted, in an appeal submitted by the Apex Court. this complaint got summarily disposed of and they filed appeals before Medical Council Of India The Ethics Committee of MCI held one doctor medically negligent and issued a strict warning to be more careful during the procedure and to be more diligent in treating and monitoring his patients during and after the operation he complainants had also made a complaint to the Punjab State Medical Council against the professional misconduct of the doctors, hospitals, surgeons, While the proceedings were pending before the SCDRC.

the complaint and two among the opposite parties were allowed by SCDRC to directly pay Rs. 15,44,000 jointly and severally and Rs. 10,000 as costs as the appeal was allowed by The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of these opposite parties and set aside the order of the SCDRC holding that negligence was not proved by the complainants.

The bench comprising of Justice UU Lalit, justice S. Ravindra Bhat and the justice PS Narasimha also observed and contended the question of intention does not arise that in the proceedings for damages due to professional negligence.

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WHERE THE CLAIMS OF EVENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ESTABLISHED BY THE PROSECUTION, SECTION 106 OF THE EVIDENCE ACT APPLIES TO CASES: SUPREME COURT

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The Supreme Court in the case Sabitri Samantaray vs State of Odisha observed here chain of events has been successfully established by the prosecution, from which a reasonable inference is made out against the accused, the Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act applies to cases.

in light of Section 106 of the Evidence Act the High Court rightly observed that as how the deceased lost his life and the onus was now on the appellants to disclose further the court observed that the appellants have failed to offer any credible defense in this regard and it can be deduced that the entire sequence of events strongly point towards the guilt of the accused appellants the burden was on the appellants to prove it otherwise as once the prosecution had successfully established the chain of events.

in the light of the statements made by all the sets of witnesses, with such an intention when analyzed and the fatal injuries sustained by the deceased at the relevant place and time further the court contended while dismissing the plea that it certainly makes out a strong case that death of the deceased was indeed caused by the appellants. in establishing intention of the accused-appellants for the commission of the offence, the prosecution has succeeded, the Court notice.

whenever an incriminating question is posed to the accused and he or she either evades response, or offers a response which is not true, in a case based on circumstantial evidence then in the chain of events such a response in itself becomes an additional link, when a case is based on circumstantial evidence As Section 106 of the Evidence Act from its burden to establish the guilt of an accused is in no way aimed at relieving the prosecution. where chain of events has been successfully established by the prosecution, it only applies to those cases from which a reasonable inference is made out against the accused.

the Section 106 it merely prescribes that when an individual has done an act and in no way exonerates the prosecution from discharging its burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt Thereafter the onus of proving that specific intention falls onto 9 the individual and not on the prosecution. If the accused had a different intention than the facts are specially within his knowledge which he must prove, with an intention other than that which the circumstances indicate. As the Section 106 of the Evidence Act postulates that the burden of proving things which are within the special knowledge of an individual is on that individual. Although the Section in no way exonerates the prosecution from discharging its burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt, observed by the Bench as the said provisions Since it is all based upon the interpretation of Section 106 Evidence Act, the contentions of either

the bench comprising of CJI NV Ramana, Justice Krishna Murari and the justice Hima Kohli observed and contended whenever an incriminating question is posed to the accused and he or she either evades response or that which being offers a response is not true then such a response in itself becomes an additional link in the chain of event, in a case based on circumstantial evidence.

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A candidate has no legal right to insist that the recruitment process set in motion be carried to its logical end: SC

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The Supreme Court in the present case Employees State Insurance Corporation vs Dr. Vinay Kumar observed that the recruitment process set in motion be carried to its logical end as the candidate does not have a legal right to insist.

The bench directed the Corporation-appellants to take a decision regarding whether to complete the recruitment process, bearing in mind all relevant aspects within a period of two months, while allowing the appeal further it stated there is however no doubt from holding that the employer is free to act in an arbitrary manner.

A recruitment process which is set in motion be carried to its logical end candidate who has applied does not have a legal right to insist that Even in the select list may not clothe the candidate with such a right and that too even in the inclusion of a candidate.

A recruitment process carried to its logical end and the process set in motion, the candidate who applied does not have the legal right and thereafter the court further contended that the cardinal principle we must bear in mind is that this is a case of direct recruitment, observed by the bench.

The Court further said that it is quite likely that any candidate who may have being desirous of applying, may not have applied being discouraged by the fact that the advertisement has been put on hold and by agreeing with the applicant the court contended and said that the direction to conclude the proceedings within 45 days is unsupportable.

The recruitment process set in motion be carried to its logical end and the Candidate who has applied does not have a legal right to insist the recruitment process.

The ground raised by the appellants for not proceeding with the procedure of direct recruitment is untenable, the respondent contended before the court and on the other hand on account of certain developments which took place, there may really be no need to fill up the post of Associate Professor and the respondent may not have a right as such, the appellant contended before the Apex Court.

The High Court which dismissed the writ petition filled by the Corporation and it directed the Corporation to conclude the process positively within a period of 45 day. the Corporation filed appeal before the Apex Court, Aggrieved with this direction.

The bench comprising of Justice KM Joseph and the justice Hrishikesh Roy observed that Even inclusion of a candidate in the select list may not clothe the candidate with such a right and it does not mean that the employer is free to act in an arbitrary manner, the bench clarified.

The recruitment process set in motion be carried to its logical end and the Candidate who has applied does not have a legal right to insist the recruitment process.

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ON THE PLEA TO STAY THE RETIREMENT OF EXISTING MEMBERS UNTIL THE ACTUAL JOINING OF NEW MEMBERS, SUPREME COURT ISSUES NOTICE

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The Supreme Court in the case Central Administrative Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association, New Delhi v Union of India & Or’s observed in a petition till all the vacancies which arose from 2019-2022 are filled by actual joining of candidates by putting a stay on the impending retirement of all the existing Judicial/ Administrative Members of CAT the court further issued the notice.

In the plea it was stated in the petition that although 35 Judicial Members including the Chairman and 35 Administrative Members cater to 19 benches and 8 circuit benches, many benches of the Tribunals have become non functional because of the retirement of members at regular intervals as it was Preferred by Central Administrative Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association, New Delhi.

Furthermore, the petition stated the Jabalpur Bench, Cuttack Bench, Lucknow Bench, Jammu and Srinagar Bench are left with only one member either Judicial or Administrative because of which no division bench can be constituted there. As on 31st March, 2022, the Guwahati Bench has become totally non-functional as no Member is available there.

Justice Chandrachud stated by taking a note of the above submissions:

A bench can’t be constituted with one member.

Justice Chandrachud further asked to submit an up-to-date chart with regards to the number of members who are present in the various benches of CAT and ordered the counsel for the Central Administrative Tribunal (Principal Bench) Bar Association, New Delhi to do the same.

Justice Kant further added by taking a note of the above submissions:

The members whose term is likely now to expire in Future, give the details of those members.

The benches of the Central Administrative Tribunal will become non-functional if the aforesaid situation continues for a couple of more months, more than half of the sanctioned stated in the plea.

AOR Amita Singh Kalkal, has filled a plea before the Supreme Court.

The bench of comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and the justice Surya Kant by making a note of the above submissions ordered to issue a notice and in addition the liberty to serve the Central Agency.

The bench ordered to comply with the same and listed the matter on 13th May.

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Supreme Court upholds disciplinary action against judicial officers for showing undue favour to a party in the worst kind of judicial dishonesty

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The Supreme Court in the case Muzaffar Hussain versus State of Uttar Pradesh observed a judicial officer in Uttar Pradesh for passing orders to unduly favour certain parties for taking against the disciplinary action.

The High Court reduced the punishment as curtailment of pensionary benefits by 70% and refused to interfere with the findings and the officer approached the Supreme Court for Challenging the High Court’s verdict.

A writ petition was filed before the High Court challenging the punishment by the officer. In 2005, the Allahabad High Court initiated disciplinary enquiry against him for misconduct and found the charges to be proved. On the recommendation made by the Full Court, the State of Uttar Pradesh imposed a punishment of curtailment of his pensionary benefits by 90% to join the Central Administrative Tribunal as a judicial member in 2003, the officer took Voluntary Retirement from Service.

Supreme Court observed while dismissing the appeal that the appellant had misconducted himself while discharging his duties as a judicial officer and there was enough material and evidence to show that. to unduly favour the subsequent purchasers of the acquired lands who had no right to claim compensation, and that such orders were actuated by corrupt motive, and had passed the judicial orders in utter disregard of the specific provisions of law.

The bench of Justice Bela Trivedi, an judgement authored noted:

the public servants are like fish in the water, none can say when and how a fish drank the water”. A judge must decide the case on the basis of the facts on record and the law applicable to the case and if he decides a case for extraneous reasons, then he is not performing his duties in accordance with law. As often quoted, a judge, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion. The extraneous consideration for showing favour need not always be a monetary consideration further she said that In our opinion, showing undue favour to a party under the guise of passing judicial orders is the worst kind of judicial dishonesty and misconduct.

while being the Additional District Judge at Agra during 2001 to 2003, the officer named Muzaffar Hussain and the charge was that in a batch of land acquisition matters in violation of settled principles in order to unduly favour certain subsequent purchasers had exorbitantly enhanced the compensation.

Thereafter the Apex Court added that under Article 235 of the Constitution of India the High Court had perfectly justified in exercising its supervisory jurisdiction, under these circumstances.

The division bench comprising of justice DY Chandrachud and the justice Bela M Trivedi observed under the guise of passing judicial orders is the worst kind of judicial dishonesty and misconduct and that showing undue favour to a party.

The Court stated, the case must be decided by the Judge on the basis of the law applicable to the case and the facts on record. He is not performing his duties in accordance with law if he decides the case or extraneous reasons.

Supreme Court observed while dismissing the appeal that the appellant had misconducted himself while discharging his duties as a judicial officer and there was enough material and evidence to show that. to unduly favour the subsequent purchasers of the acquired lands who had no right to claim compensation, and that such orders were actuated by corrupt motive, and had passed the judicial orders in utter disregard of the specific provisions of law.

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