1. The Petition
This case followed the S. Sushma style of continuing mandamus issued by the court to monitor the progress on the NALSA directives, among other things. The cause of action was the denial of rations to certain portions of the transgender community during COVID. The petition, filed in the High Court of Patna in May 2020, prayed for 25 kgs. of rations for all members of the transgender community, monetary assistance for six months’ rent, a speedy grievance redressal system, and a one-stop facilitation centre. In this blog, I will summarise the proceedings under this petition.
Does a public appointment advertisement that fails to include transgender persons violate the constitution and offend the NALSA reservation direction? A single judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court was faced with this particular question in this instance. Summarily, he found that though such advertisement offends equality, it does not violate the NALSA reservation direction because of certain context specific reasons. In this blog, I will deal with the equality analysis and the reservation analysis of the court.
In this edition of the blog, I will summarise the progress made on different institutional fronts with respect to the original and subsequent orders made in the S.Sushma case.
This blogpost pertains to the December hearings in the S. Sushma case. To recap, the case originally concerned a lesbian couple who had run away from their homes to be together. They approached the Madras High Court as they were being harassed by the police and their parents although they were adults who had left of their own volition. Through a writ of mandamus, the court ordered the police to close the missing persons cases that had been filed by the parents of the couple, and passed other orders to central and state governments, and regulatory bodies (June order). The orders are wide-ranging and cover a host of issues that arise when queer life intersects with societal and legal authority structures. The court has kept the case open and hears it from time to time to gauge the progress on its orders and issue new ones, in a PIL-style continuing mandamus.
This is Part I of a two part blog. In this part, I will focus on certain substantive matters dealt with by the court in December. The next part will carry a summary of compliance measures taken by various authorities.
The October Order
This blogpost concerns the hearing on 4th October, 2021 in the S.Sushma case.
The August Order
In this blogpost, I will provide an update on the subsequent hearings in the S. Sushma case. Summarily, that case concerned a lesbian couple who had run away from their homes and had filed a writ of mandamus in the Madras High Court seeking protection from harassment, both, from the police, and their parents. The court had ordered accordingly (‘June Order’). A detailed discussion of that order is here. Further, the court had also issued certain directions to the police, centre and state authorities, and various regulatory bodies. The court treated the case as a continuing mandamus and provided a future date to check up on the implementation of its directions.
In the next few blogposts, I will scrutinize what came to pass in those subsequent hearings. This blogpost concerns the hearing on 31st August, 2021.
On the 15th of March, 2021, a single bench of the Kerala High Court issued a writ of mandamus to the National Cadet Corps to permit the applicant, a transgender woman, to apply as a candidate under the female category. This case provided an opportunity for the interpretation of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights)Act, 2019 (2019 Act). Specifically, this case was crucial in holding that there were two rights granted under the 2019 Act: gender recognition and gender identity. They were distinct and came into operation at different times. In this blog, I will summarize the facts of the case, the arguments of the parties, and the decision of the court.
A COUPLE, THE PARENTS, AND THE POLICE
In early June, 2021, the Madras High Court gave a truly unique order. The occasion arose when a lesbian couple ran away from their parental homes. As is often seen in such cases, the parents of the two women filed missing complaints with the police. The police interrogated the couple at their residence. They failed to close the case upon learning that the women were adults and had left their homes of their own volition, once again, not an uncommon occurrence in such cases. Feeling threatened for their safety both by the police and their parents, the women filed for a writ of mandamus before the Madras High Court. A writ of mandamus is an instrument which directs a public body to perform its duty. They prayed for a writ directing the police not to harass them and to protect them from threat and danger from their parents. The government advocate who represented the police confirmed that the police will be instructed to provide protection, no longer interfere with the petitioners, and close the missing cases immediately. The court ordered accordingly.