A trans woman has moved the Kerala high court asking for transgender persons to be included in the National Cadet Corps. Hina Haneef, a first-year student of the University College in Thiruvananthapuram petitioned the court after she was refused admission in her college NCC unit because she is a trans woman.
In her plea, she asks that the High Court declare section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act (NCC), 1948, as unconstitutional as it limits enrolment to only male and female candidates and does not mention transgender candidates.
She also submits that she was informed by the Associate NCC officer that there was no provision in the Act to enrol transgender students and therefore, the petitioner cannot participate in the enrolment process, slated to take place on November 10, 2020.
Hina‚Äôs petition states she then made a representation to the Associate NCC Officer and to the Commanding Officer. However, no favourable action was taken, the plea states.
Arguing the section is discriminatory, the petition says, ‚Äúthe two-judge bench of the Supreme Court in the NALSA vs Union of India, declared transgender people as the ‚Äėthird gender‚Äô, and affirmed that fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to them, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender as male, female and third gender,‚ÄĚ the plea reads.
It also argues that the 2019 Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act ‚Äúbans unfair discrimination against transgender people in educational establishments and services, employment, health care services etc.
The writ petition also says that excluding the trans community from enrolling in NCC even violates Articles 14 (Equality before Law), 15 (prohibits discrimination of Indians on basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and 21(protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution. Hina, in the petition, also added that she was an active member of the NCC during her school days and has even received an A certificate.
The plea also notes that Kerala has been championing the case of the trans community for years now, with free sex reassignment surgeries, reservation of seats for the trans community in undergraduate and graduate courses and laws to prevent discrimination of transgender persons.
Kerala came up with the Transgender Policy in 2015, which ‚Äúhas provisions to protect the community by ‚Äúproviding equal access to social and economic resources, protecting the right to equal treatment under the law, the right to life, liberty and justice and the right to non-discrimination based on sex,‚ÄĚ the plea read.
It also noted that it has inducted members of the trans community in India, into the country‚Äôs ‚Äėelite paramilitary forces‚Äô.
The petitioner also added that transgender inclusion is needed to combat ‚Äėrampant marginalisation and discrimination faced by them‚Äô.
In her prayer, Hina not only asks for Section 6 of the NCC Act to be struck down, but also asks that an order be passed issuing directives to the Associate NCC Officer and the Commanding Officer to allow her to join the NCC.