Transgenders take out protest march, ask Prez not to okay Bill

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 3 (PTI): Transgenders took out a march to the Raj Bhavan here on Tuesday protesting against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) bill 2019.

They urged the President Ram Nath Kovind to withhold his assent to it.

The bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on November 26.

Raising slogans, the members of the Transgenders Collective Forum said the bill had been passed amid protests and resistance from them, whose rights it claims to protect.

'We strongly resent the passing of this bill and condemn the members of Parliament who voted in its favour.

The bill was passed without any change or amendment during the deliberations', they said.

The forum also urged President not to sign the bill as they said it would be, if he does, a gross violation of his duty as a representative of the public and the head of the state, and to revert the bill to the Rajya Sabha.

On November 26, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill on protection of rights of transgenders after a motion to refer it to a select committee of the Upper House was defeated.

The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on August 5.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, seeks to provide a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders and was moved for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on November 20.

Replying to a discussion for further consideration of the bill, Gehlot had said efforts would be made to incorporate the suggestions presented by members while framing the rules.

He had said a clause related to medical examination by a panel for a district magistrate (DM) or collector to certify a person as a transgender which was earlier part of the bill, has been done away with, after reservations were expressed by members in this regard.

However, in case of a child, his or her parents can file application for issuance of an identification certificate.

Elaborating on the provisions of the bill, the minister had said it is aimed at eliminating discrimination against transgenders and the government would form a national council for its implementation after the legislation is brought into effect.

Gehlot had said a transgender would be able to avail the benefits of schemes offered by states as well as the Centre. PTI UD NVG NVG