Transgender Persons Can Join National Cadet Corps On Basis Of Self-Perceived Gender Identity: Kerala HC

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Transgender Persons Can Join National Cadet Corps On Basis Of Self-Perceived Gender Identity: Kerala HC

The HC made the observation while hearing a petition moved by a transwoman, Hina Haneefa who challenged Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 that effectively allowed only 'males' or 'females' to enrol as cadets with NCC

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The Kerala High Court on Monday, March 15, in its historic judgment ruled that a transgender person is entitled to be admitted to National Cadet Corps (NCC) in accordance with her self-perceived gender Identity.

A single bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman made the observation when she was hearing a petition, moved by a transwoman, Hina Haneefa who challenged Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 that effectively allowed only 'males' or 'females' to enrol as cadets with NCC, reported Bar and Bench.

Since the NCC did not have provision for third gender, Haneefa had applied for entry on the basis of her self perceived gender which is female.

The high court noted that the Transgender Persons(Protection of Rights) Act 2019 recognises the right of transgender persons to a life of dignity and prohibits any kind of discriminations. The operation of the Transgender Rights Act, 2019, cannot be precluded form the provisions of NCC act.

In its observation, the court said, "A transgender person has the right to be recognised not only as a transgender but also a right to self-perceived gender identity, in the view of specific provisions of the 2019 Act. I am of the opinion the petition who has opted for female gender and has undergone two SRS surgeries for aiding her self perception as a member of the said gender will definitely be entitled to enrolment in the NCC Unit reckoning her as a transgender and further as a member of her self-perceived gender, i.e. female gender."

"According to me, the fact that NCC Act does not recognise the third gender or that detailed guidelines are required to be drawn up for integration of persons of the third gender into the armed forces or the NCC, cannot be a justification to deny entry of the petitioner into NCC. The petitioner is entitled to enrol in the NCC Senior Girls Division. On the basis of her application, the petitioner will be entitled to participate in the selection process. The petitioner will be enrolled in the NCC unit, if she is successful," said Justice Anu Sivaraman.

The NCC was further directed by the court to amend the enrolment criteria prescribed u/s 6 of the NCC Act to include transgender persons and to provide detailed guidelines for enrolling transgender persons in the unit, within the next six months.

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