While considering that it is an essential requisite for giving a platform for Transgender persons to speak about their needs and rights, and the reservation for Transgenders must extend to forums of law-making institutions, the Madras High Court held that the Transgender persons shall be granted free house site patta based on their eligibility and they should be allowed to participate in Village festivals, ceremonies, and conduct worship in all religious institutions, etc.

Moreover, the Madras High Court directed the Government of Tamil Nadu to initiate all appropriate steps to grant reservations to Transgender persons in the local body elections as an initial measure to bring Transgender persons into mainstream society.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice S. M. Subramaniam observed that “Transgender persons have a Right to Reservation, owing to the fact that they are socially Backward Class. It is the right time, for the State of Tamil Nadu to initiate steps to provide reservations to Transgender persons in the local body elections as a welfare measure with a view to include the Transgender in a mainstream society and for their democratic participation.”

Advocate R. Rajavelavan represented the Petitioner, whereas Advocate T. Arun Kumar represented the Respondents.

The brief Facts of the case were that the petitioner (President of Village Panchayat) stated that no patta shall be granted to Transgender persons in their Village, as allowing Transgender persons in the Village will result in the destruction of culture in that locality. When an interim order was passed directing the petitioner to produce a copy of the Resolution passed by the Village Panchayat, an objectionable Resolution was passed without knowing the Rights of Transgender persons, and they had chosen to withdraw the petition. Later, when the respondent issued a notice under Section 46(1)(a) under the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1994, stating that patta has been granted to houseless poor citizens of the Village by the Government to the inhabitants based on identity records like Voter lists, Family Cards, Aadhar cards, etc, and therefore, the case of the Transgenders cannot be considered for the grant of free house site patta even under the Government Schemes.

After considering the submission, the Bench noted that the petitioner could not walk away simply by withdrawing the petition filed seeking a direction to the District Collector not to grant patta to the Transgender persons in their Village under the Government schemes.

The Bench then observed from a plain reading of section 3(g) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 that “No person or establishment shall discriminate against a transgender person the denial or discontinuation of, or unfair treatment with regard to the right to reside, purchase, rent, or otherwise occupy any property”.

The Bench also stated that the Transgenders have to be absorbed/employed/brought into the mainstream activities of the society and for that, change in attitude towards them is essential.

Each and every human being have their own likes and dislikes, but when it comes to living in a society under the umbrella of togetherness, it is vital to accept the differences within us”, added the Bench.

Therefore, observing that the level of mental and social pressures faced by such a distinctive community of people can only be understood by an empathetic mind, and that they have been ostracised by this very society for centuries, the High Court disposed of the petition by observing the importance and to create awareness against the social evils of this nature.

Cause Title: Mr. N. D. Mohan, President Village Panchayath v. The District Collector, Tamil Nadu, and Ors.

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