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Third gender to petition court

Transgenders in Assam will file a petition in the Supreme Court on July 22, seeking its intervention to include their names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951, which is being updated in the state to detect foreigners.

By Sumir Karmakar in Guwahati
  • Published 15.07.18
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Guwahati: Transgenders in Assam will file a petition in the Supreme Court on July 22, seeking its intervention to include their names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951, which is being updated in the state to detect foreigners.

President of the All Assam Transgenders' Association Swati Bidhan Baruah said they decided to move the apex court as the NRC is being updated under the apex court's supervision and her request to NRC officials here to help them has yielded no action yet.

"Many transgenders were compelled to leave their homes owing to the stigma still prevalent in our society. Those chased out of home cannot go back to fetch documents required for the NRC. Since many changed their sex, they are confused about how to fill up the NRC application. Although there is an option of "others" in the application, there is no clear instruction on what documents they need to submit in support of their being transgenders. We will apprise the Supreme Court of all these problems and request a special provision for us," Baruah said.

However, officials of NRC office here said they were unable to include any names without admissible documents as approved by the Supreme Court and the transgenders could submit the documents during the claims and objections period, after publication of the final draft on July 30. The first draft with 1.9 crore applicants was published on the midnight of December 31.

The Telegraph in its January 5 issue had highlighted the problems faced by transgenders while applying for the NRC because of lack of documents.

Baruah, 26, a law graduate, had filed a PIL in Gauhati High Court last year, seeking implementation of the Supreme Court's orders to all states in 2014 for welfare of the third genders. Following Baruah's PIL, the Assam government informed the court about its decision to have a policy for the welfare of the state's transgender population.

The NRC is being updated with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date agreed upon in the 1985 Assam Accord.

Baruah was recently appointed the state's first transgender judge in a national Lok Adalat held here on Saturday in the court of Kamrup (metro) district and sessions judge. Baruah mediated in cases on finance companies on Saturday.

The problems confronting the transgender community in Assam came to light when Baruah moved Bombay High Court in 2012 after her decision to undergo a sex reassignment surgery was opposed by her family here. Baruah underwent the operation after it was cleared by the high court.