A Right Bill gone Wrong

The Hindu Editorial 10th Jan 2017

The Transgender Persons Bill 2016

In 2014, the Supreme Court of India gave judgment of NASLA vs Union of India which affirmed the fundamental rights of transgender.

National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA) was formed on 5 December 1995 under the authority of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987. Its purpose is to provide free legal services to eligible candidates (defined in Sec. 12 of the Act), and to organize Lok Adalats for speedy resolution of cases. The Chief Justice of India is patron-in-chief of NALSA while second senior most judge of Supreme Court of India is the Executive-Chairman. There is a provision for similar mechanism at state and district level also headed by Chief Justice of High Courts and Chief Judges of District courts respectively. The prime objective of NALSA is speedy disposal of cases and reducing the burden of judiciary.

Supreme Court guided government to take measures for the welfare of transgender and implement recommendation made by committee of ministry of social justice and empowerment.

In 2014 a bill was presented by private member for transgender rights which was passed in Rajya Sabha but couldn’t in Lok Sabha.

A private member’s bill in a parliamentary system of government is a bill (proposed law) introduced into a legislature by a legislator who is not acting on behalf of the executive branch. The designation “private member’s bill” is used in most Westminster System jurisdictions, in which a “private member” is any member of parliament (MP) who is not a member of the cabinet (executive). Other labels may be used for the concept in other parliamentary systems; for example, the label member’s bill is used in the Scottish Parliament and in the Parliament of New Zealand.

In 2015 government introduced her own bill, at this time civil societies were consulted and sent to law ministry and then for the approval of cabinet.

August 2016 it was introduced in Lok Sabha but this bill seems totally different from the bill introduced in 2014 and draft of 2015.

Now the bill is with standing committee. there are following short-coming to present bill.

  1. It doesn’t clearly define the term transgender because we borrow the definition from Australian Gender Identity and Intersex Act 2013, which define just Intersex not transgender.
  2. It doesn’t clearly talk about the fundamental right which comes under article 14, 19 and 21 left gender at the mercy of state with respect to their fundamental rights.
  3. Act is silent about how transgender will deal with existing law of marriage, adoption and criminal law those dealing with sexual offenses.
  4. Bill has not addressed the issue of section 377 of Indian Penal Code, which criminalize all sex that is not between opposite gender. section 277 is against LGBT movement.

377. Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offense described in this section.


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) social movements are social movements that advocate for the equalized acceptance of LGBT people in society. In these movements, LGBTQ people and their allies have a long history of campaigning for what is now generally called LGBTQ rights, sometimes also called gay rights or gay and lesbian rights. Although there is not a primary or an overarching central organization that represents all LGBT people and their interests, numerous LGBT rights organizations are active worldwide. The earliest organizations to support LGBT rights were formed in the 19th century.

In 2009 the Delhi High Court recognized section 377 is injustic because it violate rights of transgenders. In 2013 Supreme Court revised judgement of 2009 and refused to see the LGBT community as equal partner to the citizens.