New Delhi: A Bill seeking to empower transgenders by defining their identity and prohibition of discrimination against them was on Monday passed in the Lok Sabha amid the Opposition's protest in the House over the Centre's unprecedented restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.
Arguing on behalf of government for passage of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, Minister for State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Rattan Lal Kataria said the draft legislation will benefit transgender persons and bring them into mainstream of society.
The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment in relation to education, employment, healthcare, enjoyment of goods, facilities, opportunities available to the public, right to movement, right to reside, rent, or otherwise occupy property, opportunity to hold public or private office, access to a government or private establishment in whose care or custody a transgender person is.
It prohibits government as well as private entities from discriminating against transgender persons in employment matters, including recruitment, and promotion and that every establishment is required to designate a person to be a complaint officer to deal with complaints in relation to the Act.
The Bill also seeks facility to every transgender person to have a right to reside and be included in his household.
The Bill mentions if the immediate family is unable to care for the transgender person, the person may be placed in a rehabilitation centre, on the orders of a competent court.
It defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. A transgender person may make an application to the District Magistrate for a certificate of identity, indicating the gender as 'transgender' as per the Bill.
A revised certificate may be obtained only if the individual undergoes surgery to change their gender either as a male or a female, the Bill defines. It states that the relevant government will take measures to ensure the full inclusion and participation of transgender persons in society.
It must also take steps for transgenders' rescue and rehabilitation, vocational training and self-employment, create schemes that are transgender-sensitive, and promote their participation in cultural activities.
It recognizes offences against transgender persons like forced or bonded labour (excluding compulsory government service for public purposes), denial of use of public places, removal from household, and village, physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic abuse.
Penalties for these offences vary between six months and two years, and a fine. Taking part in the debate, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said maximum demands of the transgender community have been included in the Bill.
"People's prejudice regarding transgenders needs to be changed," he said.
Shiv Sena's Vinayak Raut said this Bill enables various welfare measures and prohibition of discrimination against transgenders and mentioned that the legislation puts emphasis on educating, skilling and making transgenders employable.