The plea moved by one Kajal Managal Mukhi, a Transgender activist sought directions from the Court to the Central government to provide stringent and severe punishment for offences against transgender persons.
Filed through advocate Shantanu Kumar, the plea argued that Section 18 of the Act provides for lesser punishment/ penalties for offences against transgender persons.
Offences against transgender persons should be classified and penalties set in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860, the Bonded Labour (System Abolition) Act 1976 and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.
Moreover, the plea contended that Section 18 infringes Articles 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India 1950 and is also against right against discrimination as propounded by the Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) v. Union of India (2014) 5 SCC 438.
According to the petitioner, Section 18 does not speak of the general discrimination faced by transgender persons everyday but only provides for discrimination of a specific nature.
Irrational punishment for crimes against transgender persons in comparison to punishment for offences against cis-gender persons, directly hampers a transgender person’s protection and social security, the plea contended.
The plea also stated that even after the enactment of the 2019 Act, crimes against the transgender persons are still increasing, and the primary reason for the same is less effective punishment for offences committed against them.
Hence, classification of offences is imminent since the major chunk of provision under the Indian Penal Code are gender-specific including provisions of Sections 354, 354-B, 354-D, 375 and 376-E, and therefore, it is very difficult to determine the liability of an offender committing an offence against the transgender persons.
Advocate-on-Record Shantanu Kumar and Advocate Dipti Singh appeared for the petitioner.