The NDA government has not included reservations for transgender people in the revised Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, according to a report in Indian Express. Reservations for the community has been a key demand of Transgender people, and the NALSA verdict too had instructed the government to treat the transgender community as a “socially and educationally backward class” and provide them the benefits of reservation under OBC category.

The Transgender Bill brought in by the government has faced opposition from transgender people over various provisions in the bill, including its definition of transgender person as well as requirement of an authority to certify a person as Transgender. A Parliamentary Committee set up by the government too had criticised the bill for its various shortcomings and insensitivity. Among other things, the Committee had recommended reservations for the transgender community as well as abolition of Section 377, as it is a major source of abuse of transgender people by police and comes in the way of recognising relationships of transgender people.

The newspaper reports that while accepting all other recommendations of the committee, the Ministry or Social Justice and Empowerment has not incorporated its recommendations to provide reservations and drop Section 377. The revised Bill has been sent to the Union Cabinet for approval.

“The issue of reservation concerns the Department of Personnel and Training and they can deal with it later,” an official told Indian Express. Similarly, officials cited the ongoing court case related to Section 377 to not incorporate those recommendations of the Standing Committee.

Sukhdeep Singh