The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on a PIL seeking to fill a void in penal law to protect transgenders from sexual assault by introducing punishment provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for sexual crimes against the third gender.

Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for petitioner-advocate Reepak Kansal, told a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian that penal laws recognised men and women as the two genders, leaving the third gender without remedy against sexual assaults.

“It is a good issue,” the bench said and asked Singh to provide details of judgments through which the apex court had resorted to temporary legislations to fill the void in the legal field.

“Statistics show that one in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives… In cases of sexual assault of transgenders, the law enforcement agencies are often at loss to ascertain applicable provisions of law as there is no provision in IPC,” Kansal said in his litigation.

He said the void in law to provide legal remedies to transgender people against sexual assaults deprived them of their right to dignity, which is part of right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. “Moreover, it put the state in breach of its avowed objective of ensuring that no one was discriminated against on the ground of gender,” Kansal added.

As reported by TOI.
Visuals : Representational

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