15,June,2015: "Despite the Supreme Court judgement of April 15, 2014, you are doing this. Why? Do you want to disqualify them (transgenders) straight away?"
The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre and the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) why transgenders have not been included as a third gender option in application forms for Civil Services Preliminary (CSP) examination.
A bench of justices Mukta Gupta and P S Teji asked the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) why transgender category has not been included as an eligibility criteria for the exam, when the Supreme Court had declared such individuals as a third gender.
“Despite the Supreme Court judgement of April 15, 2014, you are doing this. Why? Do you want to disqualify them (transgenders) straight away?” the court asked while issuing notice to UPSC and DoPT and seeking their reply by June 17.
The court listed the matter for June 17 as the last date for receipt of the application forms for the exam is June 19.
The court made the observations while hearing a PIL seeking quashing of UPSC’s notice for CSP examination to the extent of the gender or sex eligibility criteria it has laid down for the test.
The PIL has contended that lack of the third gender option has resulted in transgenders not being able to apply for the examination which is scheduled to be held on August 23.
The PIL, filed by advocate Jamshed Ansari, has also sought addition or inclusion of transgender as an eligibility criteria or gender option in the online application forms for the exam.
The petition has said that if the plea was allowed, “it would benefit the transgender community who are socially excluded from public employment and are suffering from social backwardness in the society“.
The petition has also said that the apex court had directed the Centre and state governments to “take steps to treat transgender community as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments“.
It has said that “the transgender community comprises of Hijras, eunuchs, Kothis, Aravanis, Jogappas, Shiv-Shakthis etc. and they, as a group, have got a strong historical presence in our country in the Hindu mythology and other religious texts”.