Delhi High Court. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Nov 30 : A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to include data on transgender prisoners in its prison statistics report.

The plea moved by a Delhi resident, Karan Tripathi, through the Alliance Law Group contends that more than six years have elapsed since the Supreme Court verdict, which gave legal recognition to transgenders, yet the NCRB, under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has failed to reasonably classify transgenders as a separate third gender in its annual publication of the Prison Statistics India report.

By not assigning a proper sex to the prison inmates, who may be transgenders, the plea claimed there cannot be a proper guarantee of their civil rights, constitutional rights and even basic human rights, thereby breaching the very tenets of the Constitution and the basis of the top court judgment.

The plea has argued that till date, only two genders appear in the report and the third gender is excluded. The petitioner has made the MHA and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment parties in the plea.

"It is, however, interesting to point out herein that Respondent No. 1 (NCRB), in its other annual publications like Crimes in India and Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India, has recognised transgenders, since 2017 and 2014, respectively, as a third gender, and compiled statistics regarding the crimes committed against transgenders," said the plea.

The plea cited that central jails have transgender prisoners, as affirmed in the responses to the RTIs filed by the petitioner. However, the data on transgender prisoners finds no mention in the Prison Statistics India report of 2019 published by NCRB.

The petitioner has contended that in complete violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, the NCRB has arbitrarily and unreasonably abstained from publishing separate data on the third gender in the sex-wise classification of Prison Statistics in India since 2014.

"The apex court in the NALSA judgment had laid down that in order to translate the civil rights, constitutional rights and even basic human rights of transgenders into reality, it becomes imperative to first assign them their proper sex," the plea has argued.

The petitioner has urged the high court to issue directions to the NCRB to make the requisite policy and amend the format to include data on transgender prisoners in the latest Prison Statistics Report, 2019 (through revision) and also in future reports.

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