The Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that members of the transgender community will now be included in a separate category in the Prison Statistics Report, prepared by the National Crime Records Bureau, Live Law reported.
The government, represented by Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, told the High Court that the NCRB has informed its officials that it intends to classify prisoners as male, female and transgender people in its report, “Prison Statistics India - 2020”, and onwards.
The High Court was hearing a petition filed by journalist Karan Tripathi, seeking to include separate data on transgender prisoners in the NCRB’s reports. The petitioner argued that without recognising the transgender inmates, the Supreme Court’s guidelines on the community could not be fully implemented. The Supreme Court had in 2014 recognised transgender people as the third gender and held that they were entitled to the same constitutional and legal rights as any other citizen.
Tripathi, represented by advocate Akhil Hasija, also submitted that the categorisation was needed to ensure their equality and protection under Articles 14 (equality before law), 15 (pertaining to discrimination of Indians on basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth), 19 (freedom of speech and expression), and 21 (protection of life and liberty) of the Constitution of India.
Tripathi had also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that prison authorities “maintain data on transgender prisoners/inmates in each and every document/report required to be maintained by them”, according to PTI.
The High Court disposed of the plea after hearing the Centre’s submissions. In its last hearing, the High Court had said the prayers were very pertinent and reasonable.