On the 2nd of November 2016 an Independent People’s Tribunal was convened to look at the state of implementation of the 2014 pathbreaking judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the case of National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India. The NALSA judgement, as it is better known, pronounced the right to determine one’s own gender, on the one hand, and the obligation on the state to implement affirmative action to address the social and structural exclusion of ‘third gender’ folk. While this is far from the first time that the state in India has acknowledged the presence and rights to recognition of those who are not of the mainstream/common genders of male and female, this was the first juridical recognition drawing on the jurisprudence of Rights and Constitutionalism. In the years preceding the NALSA judgement there had been legal recognition of ‘transgender’, ‘third gender’. ‘eunuch’ and ‘other’, as categories of citizen, in a range of local, state- level and national level executive actions. This included the electoral roll, ration cards, passports and voter identity cards. Such states as Tamil Nadu already had created welfare boards focussed on addressing the marginalisation experienced by third gender folk. There was, here, a diversity of ways in which gender alterity was understood and addressed.
- Summary and Highlights of the IPTs findings
- Report on Independent People’s Tribunal on the status of implementation of the NALSA judgement