Lok Sabha Passes Transgender Persons Bill

Amid noisy protests, Lok Sabha yesterday passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019. The Bill had been introduced on July 19, and is a revised version of the Transgender Person Bill that had been passed by the Lok Sabha in the previous Session.

The Bill was passed by a voice vote amid noisy protests by some opposition parties over Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury not being allowed to speak on his adjournment notice, PTI reported. The Bill was passed on a day when the country and the Parliament was rocked by the surprise decision of the NDA govt to scrap Article 370 and bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir and turn it into a Union Territory.

Rattan Lal Kataria, MoS, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said, “There were 27 amendments to the original Bill and we accepted most of them.”

The revised Bill, removes the requirement for a screening committee to review applications for the issuance of a gender identity certificate. However, it still fails to address many of the concerns of the trans community.

“The Bill has not provided any self-identification rights, promised by the NALSA judgment of 2014. They have removed the word ‘screening committee’. But when we read the Bill, if we want to get an ID card we have to go to a District Magistrate and the DM will provide us with an ID card. If we want a male or female ID card, then a medical officer will examine our body. What is this if not a screening committee?” activist Grace Banu told NewsMinute.

Sukhdeep Singh