The Centre on Tuesday introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to give the transgender community a separate identify and set up a mechanism to protect them from exploitation. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, aims at doing away with discrimination against transpersons and giving them the right to "self-perceived" gender identity, PTI reported.
The Bill also mentions equipping every establishment with a grievance redressal process, to ensure protection from harassment and discrimination. Punishments will include a jail term ranging from six months to two years. A penalty will be imposed on anyone found guilty of forcing transgender persons into bonded labour or begging, according to the Bill. A similar punishment will be meted out to those who force them to leave their homes or villages or deny them any basic right.
Revolutionary Socialist Party member NK Premchandran opposed the introduction of the Bill in the Lower House by Social Justice Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot on the grounds that there is already a similar Bill pending in the Lok Sabha. However, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the argument saying the two Bills were different despite having similar provisions.
In April 2015, the Rajya Sabha passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, which was introduced in the House by a private member, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP, Tiruchi Siva. The Bill – also aimed at empowering the transgender community – was cleared by the Cabinet on July 20. It allows for stringent punishment for crimes committed against transgender persons in India, which home to 6 lakh people from the community, according to the 2011 Census.