The Supreme Court on Monday, October 12, issued a notice to the Union government seeking a response to a plea for making modifications in the criminal law to protect the transgender community from sexual violence.
The plea soliciting equal protection of laws to the transgenders in context of the Indian Penal Code was being heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
The bench issued notice to the Centre while terming the plea raised by advocate Reepak Kansal as a "good cause", reported Live Law.
The petition by advocate Kansal asked the apex court to direct the central government to make the sexual harassment mechanisms gender-neutral.
"In cases of sexual assault of transgender, the law enforcement agencies are often at loss to ascertain applicable provision in the Indian Penal Code," he contended.
The advocate asked the court to frame guidelines to protect the third gender from sexual offences, to make anti-discrimination laws that safeguard the citizenship rights of the community members.
He said Section 354 A of IPC should be declared as ultra vires of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution since they exclude victims of sexual harassment who are transgenders.
The petitioner cited the path-breaking judgement by the Supreme Court passed in 2014 in the matter of National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India granting recognition to transgenders as the third gender, falling under the ambit of Article14 of the Constitution.