New Delhi: The central government told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that rules for including transgenders in the UPSC examination can’t be framed as the Supreme Court has not clarified the definition of a transgender.
An application seeking clarification on the term transgenders has been filed, the central government and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) told a division bench of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice P.S. Teji.
The central government said: “Since the Supreme Court judgment did not clarify the term trangender, we have already moved an application for clarification of definition of transgender. After clarification rules can be framed.”
The court was hearing a PIL seeking quashing of the UPSC notice for not including transgender as a gender option in the application form for the civil services preliminary examination.
The court had earlier asked the central government and the UPSC why the transgender category has not been included as an eligibility criteria for the examination when the Supreme Court has declared such individuals as third gender.
In April 2014, the Supreme Court created the “third gender” status for hijras or transgenders and had asked the central government to treat transgenders as “socially and economically backward”.
Earlier, transgenders were forced to write male or female against their gender. The Supreme Court had said transgenders will be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category.
Filing its response, the central government said the issue is sub-judice before the Supreme Court and as application for modification or clarification is still pending, “no decision or orders has been passed by the central government for declaring transgender persons as third gender”.
“As such the inclusion of transgenders in the application form (of UPSC) at this stage has not been carried out,” the government said. It further said the apex court judgment, has observed that “even gay, lesbian, bisexual are included by the descriptor as ‘transgender’.
“However, the stand of the government is that the concept of gay, lesbian, bisexual is based on the ‘sexual orientation’ of the person, while the term ‘transgender’ has to do with the person’s own deep sense of gender identity.
“From the plain reading of the Supreme Court judgment it appears that all transgender persons have been treated and declared as ‘third gender’. However, the definition of ‘transgender’ remains unclear,” the government said, asking the court not to pass any interim order in the case.
The petition filed by advocate Jamshed Ansari sought inclusion of transgenders as an eligibility criteria or gender option in the online application forms for the civil services exam, saying it would “benefit the transgender community who are socially excluded from public employment and are suffering from social backwardness in the society”.
The lack of the third gender option resulted in transgenders not being able to apply for the examination scheduled to be held on August 23, the plea said.