MUMBAI: In a recent matter the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal ordered the State Government to take some steps for the post of “third gender” in the state police force within the next six months.
A bench headed by the chairperson of MAT Justice (retd) Mridula Bhatkar and Member Medha Gadgil, directed the State’s General Administration Department and the Social Justice & Special Assistant Department, to submit affidavits enumerating steps taken by the Maharashtra Government for implementing the Supreme Court judgment in the case of National Legal Service Authority vs. Union Of India & Ors, (2014) 5 SCC 438.
In April 2014, a division bench of the Supreme Court, in its judgment declared transgenders to be recognized as the “third gender”. The court also observed, “Transgender persons’ right to decide their self-identified gender is also upheld, and the Centre and State Governments are directed to grant legal recognition of their gender identity such as male, female or as the third gender.”
In a said case, a petition was filed in MAT by one Vinayak Kashid seeking directions to the Maharashtra Public Service Commission to allow her to apply for the post of Police Sub-Inspector as a Transgender candidate based on MPSC’s advertisement dated June 23, 2022.
During the hearing, the main counsel of a petitioner Advocate Kranti LC informed the court that though born as a male, Kashid identified as a female and had opted for the female sex. she applied for the post of PSI as per the option provided by the MPSC in its advertisement.
Further, he informed the court that an appellant has done Graduate in Engineering (Electrical) and Post Graduate in Technology (Electrical Power System Engineering), yet had applied for this Government service. The advocate pleaded that Kashid should not be disqualified from the physical test if at all she clears the examination.
Swati Machekar, the Chief Presenting Officer for MPSC, told the bench that MPSC had accepted Kashid’s application and she would be allowed to appear for the Preliminary Examination to be held on October 8, 2022.
The appeals application, however, seeks reservation of posts for Transgender Persons in the recruitment to the 800 posts set out in the said advertisement.
The bench quoted from the 2014 SC judgment relied by Kashid’s lawyer, “We, direct the Centre and the State Government to take steps to treat them as Socially and Educationally Backward Classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments,” and sought affidavits from the relevant respondents.
The MAT bench, after quoting from the SC judgment, also noted, “In view of the above, we expect that the Respondent-State will come out with a clear policy regarding the provision of the posts for other gender within six months especially in respect of the Police Department as the candidate has to undergo the specific physical test in the Police Department.”
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