Observing that it cannot pass any directions making reservation for transgender persons in public employment and education, the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal has said that the government ought to take more steps towards inclusion of the transgender community in mainstream society.
Mere identification and acknowledgment of the existence of transgender persons in the society was not sufficient inclusion but to facilitate their appointments in Government and Public sector is inclusion in true sense, noted the order passed by MAT’s chairperson retired Justice Mridula Bhatkar and member Medha Gadgil.
The tribunal was hearing petitions filed by three transgender persons – Arya Pujari, Vinayak Kashid and Yashwant Bhise – seeking directions to the government to provide for the option for the third gender in the online application forms. They also sought that the state be directed to provide reservation to them in government employments. Pujari and Kashid had applied for the post of police constables whereas Bhise had applied for the post of talathi.
Their advocate Kranti LC had submitted that the states like Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Bihar, have given benefit of reservations to transgenders.
Although the tribunal said it cannot grant reservations to the transgender persons, it said certain concessions could be given to these three. MAT has directed the state to give the applicants necessary grace marks to reach the cut-off marks and to consider the applicants who have reached 50 per cent of the total marks for the concerned posts. If any of the applicants is age barred then they shall be given age relaxation if they have got 45 per cent marks, it added.
'Transgenders are humans and are citizens of our great country'
The fact that not a single transgender person, who has come out of the closet, has got a job in the Government sector, speaks in volumes, the tribunal said.
“The transgenders are humans and are citizens of our great Country who are waiting for their inclusion in the mainstream. We have historical, mythological and cultural instances of eunuchs and their participation in political, social or cultural fields,” the tribunal said in a detailed 26-page order.
It further said that the transgender persons are people in minority and their case is worse than what women faced in the past while demanding equality. “Majority forms the Government, but the majority cannot suppress or ignore the rights of the marginalised section. The calibre and morality of Democracy is tested on these yardsticks,” it added.
Mere acknowledgement of the separate identity of transgenders was not enough but they also need to be given opportunity in public employment. “The State of Maharashtra has been proved to be very progressive in its thought and culture. Therefore, it is desirable on the part of the Government to take necessary measures to enable these transgender applicants to get jobs in the Government sector,” the MAT said.
Highlighting the dilemma faced by the third gender, the tribunal said: “To get in public employment is a handicapped race for the transgenders. Though they are not physically disabled and are able bodied persons, their activities, actions, growth is paralysed due to the negative approach of the Society, family in all the schools, colleges in all places at all the levels.”