THE MAHARASHTRA police, assigned the task of formulating criterion for the physical tests of transpersons for recruitment in the force, is referring to rules framed by other states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Bihar, where transpersons serve in the police. Besides, it is also referring to Supreme Court and High Court judgments on the issue, UN guidelines and rules followed by other countries as well.
As per the directions of Bombay High Court, the Maharashtra police has to formulate the rules before February 28. As per the order, if it fails to do so, it won’t be allowed to go ahead with the written exam for male and female applicants, whose physical tests are currently underway across the state.
Director General (DG) Sanjay Kumar, in charge of state-wide recruitment, said that the government has formed a committee under him to come up with the criterion for physical tests of transpersons by January 30. For selection purposes, there are three events — shot put, 100 metres run and 1,600/800 metres run in addition to measurement of physical attributes.
For men, the shot put weight is 8 kg while for women it is 4 kg. When it comes to the 100 metres run, the timing for men is more stringent as compared to women. Besides, men will be tested for 1,600 metres while women will be tested for 800 metres. On physical tests, for women height is a criterion, while for men, height, weight and chest measurement is taken into consideration.
The police committee will now have to decide where to place transpersons on this yardstick which is fair to them. States like Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Karnataka have replicated the criterion used for women’s selection for transpersons as well.
Talking to The Indian Express, Kumar said, “While applying for third gender, transpersons need a certificate from a Collector certifying them as transpersons. Within the third gender category, those applying must select from three options — trans male, trans female and intersex. This is based on the principle of self-identification as per law. We are now referring to the landmark Supreme Court 2014 judgment, High Court judgments, rules from other states, other countries, and UN guidelines before coming up with physical criterion for transpersons.”
Apart from him, the committee comprises Principal Secretary (Home), Director of Medical Education, Deputy Secretary, Law and Judiciary department, among others. The committee will also be co-ordinating with the social welfare department and writing to the government for a transgender representative to discuss and formulate the rules.
“We need to have all stakeholders and decide on the rules as they will also be applicable in future for Deputy Superintendent (DySP) and Police Sub Inspector (PSI) selections as well,” an officer said.
Once the criterion is decided, transpersons will have their physical examinations following which they too will have written exams before being inducted in the force. Currently the physical examinations of men and women are underway.
When contacted, Arya Pujari, whose petition led to the recruitment of transpersons, said, “I feel that transpersons go through several surgeries be it Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) or breast implants which makes them weak. Hence, I feel the model of Karnataka state which has 400 metres run for transpersons should be referred to by the government as transpersons would find it difficult to do much physical work. So far no one has approached us seeking suggestions.”
In one of the largest police recruitment drives in the Maharashtra, a total of 18,331 posts are sought to be filled for which 18 lakh applications have been received, including those from 73 transpersons. This is the first time that Maharashtra police will hire transpersons following judicial intervention after two transpersons approached Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) and later Bombay High Court.
The HC on December 9 directed the Maharashtra government to ensure they frame rules in compliance with the Central Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules of 2020 before February 28, 2023.