April,26,2015: In a move aimed at helping transgender persons open bank accounts and avail related services, the Reserve Bank today directed banks to include a separate column 'third gender' in all their forms and applications.
It has been brought to our notice that transgender persons face difficulties in opening accounts as there is no provision for them in the account opening and other forms, the RBI said.
"Banks are, therefore, directed to include 'third gender' in all forms/applications etc. prescribed by the Reserve Bank or the banks themselves, wherein any gender classification is envisaged," it said in a notification.
Supreme Court Bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice A.K. Sikri, in the case of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) v. Union of India &Ors. [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 400 of 2012] had directed the Centre and the State Governments to recognize transgender as the third sex and also to provide the benefits of socially and economically backward class.
In this landmark judgment the court also opined that the Centre and the State Governments should develop social welfare schemes for third gender community and run a public awareness campaign to erase social stigma attached to the community, apart from considering reservation in jobs. The Supreme Court also added that if a person surgically changes his/her sex, then he or she is entitled to her changed sex and cannot be discriminated.
As per this judgment dated April 14, 2014, the Supreme Court had upheld transgender persons' right to decide their self- identified gender and directed the centre and state governments to grant legal recognition of their gender identity such as male, female or as third gender.