State govt to provide specific percentage of separate reservation for Transgender in matters of future public employments: Madras HC

The Madras High Court ruled that the State government to provide specific percentage of separate reservation for Transgender in matters of future public employments.

Background 

The grievances of the petitioners, who are the “Third Genders/ Transgenders” (TGs) in all these Writ Petitions, are that the concessions and relaxations extended to them in Common Recruitment Processes for the posts of Grade-II Police Constables and the like, conducted by the Tamil Nadu Uniform Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB), are inadequate and inconsistent with the orders passed by the Supreme Court and the Court, which amounts to hostile discrimination. All these petitioners seek for reservations, relaxations and concessions for the purpose of considering their candidatures in the recruitment process.

Arguments 

Advocate Jayna Kothari, appearing for some of the petitioners, submitted that after the judgment of the Supreme Court in NALSA’s case and the Division Bench in Aradhana’s case, TNUSRB ought to have implemented these orders in its true spirit and provided for reservations, apart from other relaxations and concessions, on par with the destitute widow candidates.

P. Kumaresan, Additional Advocate General, contended that the judgment in NALSA and Aradhana cases’ were complied with, whereby the proposals of the Director General of Police, was accepted by the Government and apart from certain privileges having been already extended to the Third Gender, the directions of the Division Bench in Aradhana’s case was complied with and accordingly, the Third Gender candidates were granted age relaxation similar to the age relaxation provided to Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe candidates for the recruitment through TNUSRB. 

Decision 

The single judge bench of Justice M.S. Ramesh noted that the decision of TNUSRB to combine the TGs, who had opted for female category, along with the vacancies reserved for Women deprives equality to them which is violative of Articles 14 and 16(1) of the Constitution of India. 

The court stated that when NALSA specifically directed the Central and State Governments to provide reservation for the TGs in matters of public appointments, the conduct of TNUSRB in depriving the TGs, who are in the male category of any kind of reservations in the vacancies, is also opposed to Articles 14 and 16(1).

The court said that the manner in which the respondents had violated the equality of opportunity to the TGs in the impugned notification, is unconstitutional, arbitrary and unfair. If that be so, such an illegal action would be open for judicial review by the Court exercising its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

The court directed the Member Secretary of TNUSRB to treat all the petitioners, as having qualified in the initial selection process, including the written examination and forthwith subject them to physical measurement tests, endurance tests and physical efficiency tests, in accordance with the relaxed norms applicable for Women candidates, for the purpose of appointing them as Grade-II Police Constables and complete such a process, within a period of eight weeks.

The court strongly recommended the Government of Tamil Nadu to provide a specified percentage of special reservation for the TGs in matters of future public employments, apart from other relaxations and concessions extended to the socially and economically backward classes.

Case title: Saratha v/s The Member Secretary and Ors. 

Citation: W.P.No.15316 of 2020

Click here to read the Order/Judgment

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