The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that there is no separate reservation for transgender persons in education or employment, reported Bar and Bench.
The government, however, clarified that transgender persons can avail reservation if they fall under existing reserved categories of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Socially and Economically Backward Classes and the Economically Weaker Sections.
The bench is hearing a contempt petition filed by a group of transgender persons alleging non-compliance with a Supreme Court judgement of 2014.
The 2014 judgement had formally created the third gender category for transgender persons, recognising them as a Socially and Economically Backward Class.
The court had also directed the government to ensure that transgender persons were extended the benefits of reservation in educational institutions and public jobs, health benefits, separate public toilets and set up safeguards against discrimination.
In their plea filed in March, the group contended that both, the Central and the state governments, have failed to implement the directions of the Supreme Court.
They argued that the absence of reservation has adversely affected the livelihood and education of transgender persons, according to Live Law. The petitioners alleged that members of the community are not provided certificates of identity by authorities and that they find it difficult to find any employment due to the social stigma attached to them.
In March, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had sought a response from the Centre and the state governments on the petition.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment claimed that since 2014, the government has taken several steps to address the problems faced by the transgender community, reported Bar and Bench.
The government also said that it has also set up a National Portal for Transgender Persons and a National Council for Transgender Persons to advise them on policies, programmes, legislation, and projects for the welfare of the community.
The case will be heard next on August 18.
Also read: Trans people’s fight for their right to work