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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Delhi HC issues notice on plea seeking separate toilets for third gender

Issuing notices to the Centre, Delhi government and all municipal bodies of the national capital on a petition seeking separate public toilets for transgenders in Delhi, the HC listed the case for hearing on September 13.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: July 26, 2021 4:18:42 pm
Delhi HC"It is so unfortunate that a human tragedy has been turned into a political battle," said the court. (File photo)

The Delhi High Court Monday issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and all the municipal bodies of the national capital on a petition seeking building of separate public toilets for transgenders in Delhi.

The division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh granted time to authorities to file their responses to the petition and listed the case for hearing on September 13.

The petitioner Jasmine Kaur Chhabra, a law student, argued that every human being, irrespective of their gender, has some basic human rights which also includes the right to have a separate public toilet. “It is not fundamentally or morally judicious/correct to ask any one specific gender to use a public toilet which is made for any other gender,” the petition stated.

Chhabra further contended that not having a facility to use a separate public washroom would be violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. “When the third gender uses the washrooms made for male and female, then their Right to Privacy is violated,” the petitioner said, adding they are also prone to sexual assault and harassment in toilets built for men.

The plea also states that the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) Revised Guidelines issued in 2017 recommends creation of separate seats for toilets for the transgenders. The discrimination on the ground of sexual orietation or gender identity impairs equality before law and equal protection of law and violates Article 14 of the Constitution, the plea argues further.

Submitting that the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 criminalizes discrimination against a transgender person in education, employment, healthcare, movement and right to reside, the petitioner, while referring to the absence of separate toilets, contended, “This is a serious and concerning issue which the people of transgender community face in their daily life and even after several judgments and orders passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and other high courts, no action has been taken in this regard.”

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