A practicing lawyer, Reepak Kansal, filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging various clauses and sub-sections of Section 354-A of the Indian Penal Code which deals with sexual harassment.
He was of the opinion that the laws of the country are for every citizen be it male, female, or transgenders (neither male nor female). The Constitution of India clearly provides in Article 14 that the state cannot deny to “any person” equality before the law or equal protection of the law. But the situation today is that transgenders do not get equal rights and are deprived of justice by the authorities on the ground of gender. By this, they are violating Articles 14 to 16 & 21 of the Constitution of India.
Thus, he prayed to the Supreme Court to pass necessary orders and directions to the Central government to deal with harassment against the transgenders and guarantee them their fundamental rights by making appropriate laws, making alterations in the Sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 dealing with such assaults and giving them equal protection under the law. He also asked the apex court in his plea to give directions to the Central government to pass an anti-discrimination bill which will impose a penalty on any harassment or discrimination done on the basis of gender. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the matter in a week.