V. Vasanta Mogli v. The State of Telangana and Others WP Nos 44, 355 of 2018 and 74 2020

Hereditary Criminality

This judgment decided the fate of the Telangana Eunuchs Act, 1329 Fasli[1], a shocking vestige of the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) era, which I believed had been relegated to the history books.[2] Contrary to appearance, the Telangana Act was not a new Act, legislated after the creation of the State of Telangana in 2014 but a piece of colonial legislation inherited at independence. The Act’s purpose was to register and control eunuchs, in line with the thinking of its parental source that certain tribes were addicted to the commission of habitual offences. The logic was that in caste-ridden India people had been pursuing hereditary professions since time immemorial, weaving, carpentry etc. Naturally, there must be hereditary criminals too.

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