Petition for the Legal Recognition of Transgenders
Sangeeta Hijra vs. The State Of Bihar & Ors.
Petitioner is a transgender person and her voter identity card dated 06.08.2013 issued by the election commission of India mentions her sex as female. In pursuant to the announcement of the Patna Municipal Corporation election 2017 by the Authorities, the Petitioner has filed her nomination as a female candidate to contest the said election from PMC Ward no 21 and was allotted Serial no. 14 by the Respondent no 5. It is pertinent to mention here that the Petitioner along with her nomination papers also filed the copies of all the required necessary documents such as Voter Identity Card, PAN Card, Caste Certificate, Income & Residence proof, etc. The Respondent No. 5 vide his order dated 11.05.2017 made recommendation to the Respondent No. 4 to reject the nomination of the Petitioner on following two grounds :-
(i) As per the booklet supplied by the State Election Commission, the petitioner being a third gender ought to have filed her nomination to contest the said elections from an “unreserved others” seat whereas the ward no. 21 is a “female unreserved” seat; and
(ii) The Petitioner while filing her nomination form has used (X) sign and mentioned “no comments” in her nomination papers and therefore the Petitioner intends to conceal information.
Subsequently, vide order dated 13.05.2017 the Respondent no 4, in pursuant to the recommendation made by the respondent no 5 without assigning any reason to his satisfaction on the said recommendations rejected the nomination of the petitioner. It is pertinent to mention that the petitioner was never heard at least for once before passing of the said order dated 13.05.2017. Annexure – 3 & Annexure – 4 are cryptic because both of the impugned Orders don’t specify the information or informations which the Petitioner has been alleged to conceal. It is pertinent to mention here that petitioner has used (X) or “no comments” for the sub-queries after squarely and specifically answering the main queries specifically. Further, rejection of the nomination of the Petitioner on the ground of using (X) signs or “no comments” is hyper technical, illegal & frivolous. Moreover, the Petitioner humbly states that she has not concealed any information material or immaterial in her nomination paper from the Authorities.
With respect to filing of the nomination by the petitioner for an “unreserved female” seat, it is humbly submitted that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the Judgment passed in National legal services Authority Vs. Union of India as reported in 2014 (5) SCC 438 has specifically led down at Para- 135.2
“Transgender persons’ right to decide their self-identified gender is also upheld and the Centre and State Governments are directed to grant legal recognition of their gender identity such as male, female or as third gender.”
Further, there is a major interpolation in the handwritten original copy of the impugned order dated 11.05.2017 (Annexure -5) while recommending the rejection of the candidature of the petitioner. Petitioner immediately filed Representation dated before 23.05.2017 before the Commission.
Judgement / Status
Pending, The High Court has directed the State Election commission to file its response thereafter the matter will be heard at length. The matter has also been reported in the newspaper.