Plea seeks separate hostels for transgender students: HC issues notice to Karnataka govt
The division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice SR Krishna Kumar issued notice to the state government, asked to filed objections to the petition.
Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the State government on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking directions to the state government to establish separate hostels and accommodation for transgender students in higher educational institutions.
PIL filed by Dr. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju seeking direction to the state government to establish separate hostels for transgender students, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice SR Krishna Kumar issued notice to the state government, asked to filed objections to the petition.
Dr. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju, a transwoman, who had undergone gender-affirming medical and surgical transition and treatment. The petition stated that she is an active voice for transgender rights in the country and has taken up many issues for the protection of rights of the transgender and intersex community.
The petitioners contended that the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 prohibits discrimination in educational establishments and institutions and unfair treatment with regard to the right to reside, purchase, rent, or otherwise occupy any property.
Further, the petitioner’ stated that rule 10 of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 states that the appropriate government should create institutional infrastructures such as temporary shelters, short stay homes and accommodation, choice of male, female, or separate wards.
One of the main reasons why transgender students often are forced to drop out of higher education is because of harassment faced by them in hostels, as they are accommodated not based on their gender identity, but on the sex assigned to them at birth, and are hence placed in opposite gender hostels, the petitioner contended.
The young trans persons are often thrown out of their homes as they are not accepted due to their gender identity, and the violence and discrimination they face has a serious impact on their education, the petitioner pointed out.
The petitioner herself was placed in the boys' hostel during her MBBS course, where she was subjected to ragging, abuse and humiliation, which caused mental trauma to her. She was denied accommodation in girls' hostel because she had not had gender reassignment surgery through her legal documents including Aadhaar card reflected the 'female' gender.
The Karnataka State Policy for Transgender Persons Policy does not address housing and hostel accommodation for transgender students, who face numerous hardships, the plea stated.