The Supreme Court’s (SC) 2014 judgement giving constitutional protection to transgenders as a third gender was remarkably progressive. And its rap on the knuckles to the centre on Thursday over the latter’s delaying tactics in implementing the judgement was welcome.
The irony now is that whereas the SC identified self-identity and autonomy as fundamental rights for transgenders in the 2014 judgement, other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community continue to be denied that protection. The decision in December 2013 by another SC bench to strike down a 2009 high court judgement decriminalizing gay sex was an injustice then and it is now.
The stark disparity in the rulings of the two SC benches must be corrected. Putting the onus on the legislature is passing the buck. The SC has on occasion been excessively activist—but in this instance, it would do well to guarantee the fundamental rights of the LGBT community.