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Transgender judge moves SC against exclusion from NRC

Most from the transgender community in Assam remained out of the NRC for not having pre-1971 documents necessary for inclusion in the list, the petition alleges further

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In India

Justice Swati Bidhan Barua, the first transgender judge of Assam, today filed a petition in the Supreme Court, stating that while applying for NRC in Assam, no separate category was created for transgenders. Due to the non-inclusion of the ‘other’ category in the NRC application form, transgenders were forced to reveal their identity as a man or a woman, the petition said, alleging that 2,000 citizens of the said gender were thus excluded from the final list.

The petition said that most from the transgender community in the state remained out of the NRC, as they did not have the pre-1971 documents considered necessary to be included in the list. On Monday, a bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde issued a notice to the Central Government seeking a reply.

The parliament had approved the Protection of Rights of Transgender Persons Act, 2019, on 26 November last year. The law referred to taking necessary measures for the social, economic and educational uplift of transgenders. The president approved it on 5 December. The law prohibits any discrimination against transgender people.

According to the law, every citizen has been given the right to determine own gender. It states that there will be no discrimination against transgenders in the matter of giving employment. Their appointment, promotion and other issues will also have to be decided beyond gender-based discrimination.

The last list of NRC in Assam was released on Saturday 31 August. Of the 3.29 crore people in the final list, 3.11 crore people were not considered as legitimate citizens of India. About 19 lakh people are out of this list. Those who were not on the list were given the opportunity to appeal to the Foreigners Tribunal. The final list includes the names of those who are citizens of Assam or have lived in their ancestral state since before 25 March 1971. This was verified through official documents.

A lot many Hindu residents of Assam found themselves missing in the final list of NRC released on 31 August 2019 when there was no CAA to retain them in the country. The NRC was a bureaucratic exercise ridden with errors clerks typically make or force upon the people. At the same time, many Rohingyas could be identified despite the flaw of the process. The union government has decided to deport them first.

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